Aluminum recycler agrees to resolve violations
Aleris International Inc., one of the nation’s largest
aluminum recyclers, and 13 of its subsidiaries have committed
to implementing environmental improvements and controls
projected to cost $4.2 million at 15 plants located in
11 states, the Justice Department and United States Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) announced.
The company also agreed to a $4.6 million civil penalty
to resolve violations of the Clean Air Act, which will
be allowed as an unsecured claim in Aleris’s bankruptcy
proceeding pending in Delaware.
Aleris uses recycled beverage cans, scrap, and other
materials to produce aluminum in liquid or ingot form.
Part of the aluminum production process causes emissions
of pollutants such as dioxins and furans, hydrogen chloride,
and particulate matter.
The consent decree requires Aleris to better enclose
its furnaces to improve the capture of emissions, retest
every furnace using model test protocols, adopt model
recordkeeping and reporting documents, and install pollution
control or monitoring equipment at particular facilities.
The settlement is expected to reduce annual emissions
of particulate matter by up to 24,000 pounds, hydrogen
chloride by up to 870,000 pounds, and dioxins and furans
by up to one pound per year. Dioxins and furans, created
during incineration, are known to cause cancer and are
extremely toxic at low levels.
In a complaint filed last February in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, the
United States alleged that Aleris violated the National
Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Secondary
Aluminum Production, which became effective in 2003.
The complaint alleged that Aleris failed to design and
install adequate systems to capture emissions of pollutants,
to demonstrate compliance with federal emission standards
through adequate performance testing, to correctly establish
and monitor operating parameters, and to comply with
recordkeeping and reporting requirements.
The settlement requires Aleris and its subsidiaries to
implement pollution controls and take other compliance
measures at facilities located in Goodyear, Arizona;
Post Falls, Idaho; Morgantown and Lewisport, Kentucky;
Chicago Heights, Illinois; Wabash, Indiana; Coldwater
and Saginaw, Michigan; Uhrichsville, Ohio; Sapulpa, Oklahoma;
Loudon and Shelbyville, Tennessee; Richmond, Virginia;
and Friendly, West Virginia.
The states of Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan,
Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia
and Maricopa County, Arizona, joined the settlement and
will share a portion of the civil penalty. This is the
largest number of facilities ever included in a Clean
Air Act settlement involving the secondary aluminum production