The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has fined ESSROC Cement Corp., Lower Nazareth Township, US$50,558 for air emission violations and failing to maintain data records from its air monitors as required.
“ESSROC exceeded its permitted emission limits and failed to meet our requirements for making data available, which is important to ensure the company is following the limits we’ve imposed to protect air quality for everyone in the region,” says Michael Bedrin, DEP’s Northeast Regional director in a press release.
The DEP notes that ESSROC did not meet its carbon monoxide emission limits on 72 days between July 1, 2006 and Sept. 30, 2009. The company also failed to meet its sulfur dioxide emission limits for 17 days between Oct. 1, 2008 and Sept. 30, 2009.
The DEP alleges that the company also allowed gaps in the information to be gathered from its continuous emission monitors.
The gaps were the result of defective parts and lightning strikes between July 2006 and December 2008. While monitors are to run continuously, state regulations require that data covering either 90 percent of a monthly time period or 95 percent of a calendar quarter be recorded and retained. ESSROC has since purchased additional spare parts to address any future problems or malfunctions with their monitors.