Lime Production Facility Pays $280K to Settle Air Pollution Charges

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality announced consent agreements recently with O-N Minerals Co., a lime production facility in Strasburg, Va. The agreements resolve alleged violations of the company modifying its rotary kiln -- increasing air pollution emissions -- without installing the necessary pollution control equipment or obtaining required permits. O-N will pay two penalties, one of $158,980 to Virginia's DEQ and another of $121,829 to the U.S. Treasury.

In addition to paying the EPA penalty, O-N agreed to install and operate a sulfur dioxide continuous emissions monitoring system to monitor sulfur dioxide emissions 24/7. The company agreed to meet the state’s permit limits for sulfur dioxide two years earlier so the emissions will not limit visibility at a nearby national park. As part of this settlement, O-N also will perform visible emissions readings, limit the sulfur content of any coal or fuel oil burned in the rotary kiln, and achieve a lower sulfur dioxide emission rate from the rotary kiln. These requirements are estimated to reduce O-N’s sulfur dioxide emissions by 425,000 pounds per year.

In the separate state-issued action, Virginia’s DEQ issued O-N a consent order for sulfur dioxide and other clean air violations. In addition to assessing the state penalty, DEQ is requiring a revised state permit.

EPA noted that emissions of sulfur and sulfur dioxide contribute to smog and acid rain, adding that sulfur dioxide pollution has been linked to serious human health effects, including respiratory function and cardiovascular illnesses.

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