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Allegheny County Health Department Issues $25K Civil Penalty to Bristol Metals for Air Quality Violations; Enforcement Orders Issued for Asbestos Infractions 

Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) periodically updates its website to include information on recent enforcement actions initiated by its Air Quality Program. 

GASP earlier this month reported on the most high-profile item to appear on the enforcement docket this quarter – an enforcement order against U.S. Steel regarding the release of more than 4 tons of anhydrous ammonia from its Clairton Coke Works facility June 1.

But U.S. Steel wasn’t the only company accused of violating local air quality rules. ACHD also initiated enforcement action against:

Bristol Metals

ACHD on July 30 issued a $25,310 civil penalty against Munhall-based Bristol Metals for failing to submit required breakdown and other reports.

Of that fine, $2,310 was assessed because Bristol Metals did not fully cooperate with ACHD. According to the notice of violations, it took the company eight months to bring the piece of broken-down equipment – a flow meter – back online.

The NOV indicated that the company had 30 days to pay the fine as well as appeal the order. No further information is available. You can read the entire NOV here.

Harsco

ACHD on Aug. 5 issued a demand for stipulated penalties to Natrona-based slag processor Harsco, Inc. in the amount of $3,000 for two air quality-related violations of a Jan. 7, 2020 settlement agreement between the department and the company.

Dust from Harsco’s slag-handling activities regularly drifts out into the surrounding residential neighborhood, landing on neighbors’ cars and other property – which is what happened on June 18 and June 25, according to the demand. Inspectors discovered dust deposits on cars on those two dates following residential complaints. A $1,500 fine was assessed for each violation.

You can read the entire demand for stipulated penalties here. You can read more about Harsco’s settlement agreement with ACHD here.

INEOS Composites U.S.

ACHD on July 21 issued a notice of violation to Neville Island-based plastics manufacturer INEOS for violations of its operating permit as well as local air pollution control rules.

According to the NOV, INEOS failed to report in a timely manner an equipment breakdown. All such breakdowns must be reported to the department within 60 minutes. The company waited 83 minutes to file such a report, ACHD said in the notice.

ACHD said the company also failed to report an exceedance of the limit for hydrogen chloride (HCI) on Sept. 1, 2020. The NOV noted that INEOS failed to report this exceedance to the county and the federal Environmental Protection Agency until almost four months later. Operators are required to make such reports within 30 days of the occurrence.

ACHD requested the company contact the department to discuss the alleged violations.

No further information was immediately available on the ACHD website regarding the NOV, which can be read in its entirety here.

Ahan Hospitality, Inc.

ACHD on June 28 issued a warning letter to Naren Patel of Ahan Hospitality to inform them that they might be in violation of the state’s Diesel-Powered Motor Vehicle Act.

The letter indicated that the department had received several complaints of vehicles idling for longer than 5 minutes an hour, in violation of the act.

“ACHD representatives will continue to respond to complaints of excessive idling at the subject location to document compliance with PA ACT 124. Additionally, state and local law enforcement may issue or file a citation for violations of PA ACT 124,” ACHD wrote. “This letter constitutes a formal warning that you and your company may have violated the DieselPowered Motor Vehicle Idling Act by allowing excessive idling of diesel-powered vehicles on your property.”

You can read the entire warning letter here.

ServeSteel

ACHD this past summer issued two notices of violation against Morgan-based ServSteel – one on June 28 regarding the company’s failure to submit required semi-annual reports and the other on July 9 for violations of its installation permit and Allegheny County air pollution rules.

According to the July 9 NOV, ServSteel exceeded the limits outlined in its installation permit for:

  • Particulate matter 
  • Fine particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5)
  • Nitrogen oxides
  • Sulfur oxides

The company was ordered to set up a meeting with ACHD to discuss the issues. No further information on the status of the NOV was immediately available. You can read the entire NOV here.

Recent Asbestos-Related Air Quality Violation in Allegheny County

For those who might not be aware: Allegheny County Health Department’s air quality rules require a thorough inspection to determine the presence of asbestos (called a survey) for all renovation and demolition projects and depending on the quantity of asbestos identified, proper notification, specific work practices, and proper disposal of asbestos-containing material are required. 

The notification requirements for facility demolition and renovation activities are dependent upon the amount of asbestos-containing material (ACM) at the site. 

A licensed asbestos contractor must remove all ACM identified as described in the permit. Demolition or renovation activities may proceed once ACHD has performed a final clearance inspection.

The following businesses were subject to enforcement action for asbestos-related air quality violations:

 

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