Minnesota Waste-to-Energy Facility Agrees to EPA Order on Emissions

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has issued an administrative consent order under the Clean Air Act to the Olmsted Waste-to-Energy Facility in Rochester, Minn. The facility, a small municipal solid waste burner, has agreed to comply with federal regulations to control mercury, dioxin, and furan emissions from the plant.

In December, EPA sent the facility a notice alleging that it had violated the Clean Air Act by not taking the correct measures to control its mercury, dioxin, and furan emissions. EPA met with facility representatives in January to discuss the allegations. This order resolves EPA's finding, the agency said.

Exposure to mercury can permanently damage the brain and kidneys, EPA noted, adding that adults exposed to metallic mercury vapor may develop tremors, memory loss, and kidney disease. There is evidence that dioxins may cause liver damage and probably cause cancer in humans, while furans also may cause cancer, the agency said.

Information about EPA Region 5's air enforcement program is at www.epa.gov/region5/air/enforce/index.html. Potential environmental violations may be reported at www.epa.gov/compliance/complaints.

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