Hercules Cement Co will pay a US$31,394 fine for sulfur dioxide emissions violations and data availability problems at its facility in Stockertown, Northampton County, according to a consent order and agreement announced today by the Department of Environmental Protection.
"Facilities that emit air pollutants, like sulphur dioxide, must adhere to the permitted limits, which are designed to protect both the environment and public health," DEP Northeast Regional Director Mike Bedrin said.
The cement manufacturer’s kilns exceeded the permitted sulfur dioxide hourly average emissions limit of 500 parts per million for 170 hours during the second, third and fourth quarters of 2009.
Additionally, as part of the facility’s air quality permit, 90 per cent of each month’s monitoring data must be valid. For the month of June 2009, only 81 per cent of the data were considered valid, due to a data handling system malfunction. Quality assurance, calibration testing and accuracy calculations are used to determine if a given hour’s worth of continuous emissions monitoring data reflects the actual emissions.
The fine will be paid to the state’s Clean Air Fund.