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EPA reaches agreement with Steel Dynamics on clean-air violations


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has reached an agreement with Steel Dynamics Inc. on alleged clean-air violations at the company’s steel plant at 4500 County Road 59, Butler, Ind.

The agreement, which includes a $13,540 penalty and a $263,000 environmental project, resolves EPA allegations that between 2003 and 2006 Steel Dynamics’ emissions violated the opacity limits of the Clean Air Act. Opacity is the amount of light obscured by particulate matter. In addition, EPA said the company failed to properly report the exceedances and to use good air pollution control practices to minimize its emissions.

For its environmental project, Steel Dynamics will install a bag leak detection system that monitors each compartment of the plant’s existing baghouse used to control opacity emissions from its electric arc furnaces. The system will reduce the periods of excess emissions and decrease the time it takes to identify and address the cause of the emissions.

In a related action, Steel Dynamics agreed to implement a compliance plan to improve its ability to prevent and respond to releases from the baghouse controlling its electric arc furnaces.

Inhaling high concentrations of particulates can affect children, the elderly and people with heart and lung diseases the most.


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