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The Scoop

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Verbatim: OmniSource agrees to cleanup, fined

Statement issued Tuesday by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency:

OmniSource Corp. is taking steps to minimize dust emissions that have caused repeated public nuisances at three scrap metal processing plants in northwest Ohio. In a settlement with Ohio EPA, the company is required to employ required pollution control measures, comply with emission limitations and obtain required permits for certain air pollution sources at the facilities.

The settlement also requires the company to pay a $163,900 penalty, which includes expenditures for additional pollution reduction projects.

OmniSource, headquartered in Fort Wayne, Ind., has resolved violations stemming from public complaints and Ohio EPA inspections dating between 2004-2008 at its facilities near Lima, St. Marys and in Mansfield.

Air pollution violations included excessive fugitive dust emissions from paved and unpaved roadways; drag out of mud onto public roads; failure to employ adequate control measures; open burning; causing a dust nuisance; and failure to obtain required permits and submit dust control plans. According to U.S. EPA, which has established standards for particle (or dust) pollution, numerous scientific studies have linked particle pollution exposure to a variety of heart and lung problems.

For example, at the Mansfield facility, the company increased the amount of scrap it processed from 8,000 to 40,000 tons a day in 2004. The increased road traffic produced increased fugitive dust emissions. The company did not apply for a permit for the expansion that increased dust emissions.

At the St. Marys location, the company was cited for failing to obtain state permits to install and operate jet torches, which were added to the facility in 2003, and for failing to obtain a permit to operate for roadways and parking areas. The company also did not have adequate emission controls on the torches, resulting in complaints about dark yellow or multi-colored clouds coming from the facility. Use of the jet and conventional torches also sparked multiple open fires to which the local fire department frequently responded. The fires violated Ohio’s open burning regulations.

At all three sites, the company has taken steps to control fugitive dust from roadways and from carryout of mud onto paved public streets, including mechanical sweeping, paving some areas with concrete, cleaning mud from truck tires before trucks exit the lots and improving drainage to reduce the amount of mud produced during rain storms. These actions have eliminated or reduced dust complaints at these facilities since 2008.

At the St. Marys facility, the company applied for and was granted a permit-to-install-and-operate (PTIO) for the jet torches in August 2009. By August 2011, the company must submit a written request to modify its permits for new paved roadways at the facility.

To reduce fires caused by the cutting torches, the company has produced a list of prohibited scrap materials and pledged to use fire extinguishers and sand to put out small fires.

It also added an enclosure that vents to a fabric filter for air emissions caused by the jet torching operations. At the Mansfield location, the company got a permit for the increased production. The permit requires dust control measures to prevent excess fugitive dust.

OmniSource will pay $66,120 that will be split between Ohio EPA’s Environmental Education Fund and air pollution control programs. It will pay $32,780 to Ohio EPA’s CleanDiesel School Bus Program Fund. Information on the school bus program is available at www.epa.ohio.gov/oeef/schoolbus.aspx.

The remaining $65,000 of the penalty is being credited back to the company for two projects that will further reduce fugitive dust at its Lima, St. Marys and Toledo locations. At Lima, the company will receive a penalty credit for paving three unpaved roadways. The company is required to spend at least $185,000 on the project and must complete the project by May 2011.

At St. Marys, the company was granted a penalty credit to transfer an existing mechanized sweeper from its Toledo facility to the St. Marys site and purchase a new sweeper for its Toledo facility. The company must use the sweepers on both the public roadway and paved surfaces at the St. Marys and Toledo plants. The company is required to spend at least $150,000 for the new sweeper at the Toledo facility and complete the project by January 2011.

The facilities are located at 1610 E. Fourth Street, Perry Township (near Lima); 4575 County Road 33A, St. Marys Township (near St. Marys); and 1500 Old Bowman St., Mansfield.

Complete details of the settlement are available at: www.epa.ohio.gov/portals/27/enforcement/year_2010/OmniSourceCorp_0817101.pdf.

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