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October 2007

Settlement to ensure reduction of pollutants from Indiana Plant

The United States has reached a settlement with the state of Indiana, the city of Hammond, Indiana and Jupiter Aluminum Corporation, the operator of a secondary aluminum production facility, which resolves Clean Air Act violations.

Under the consent decree filed in August, 2007, Jupiter has agreed to ensure future compliance with certain provisions of the federal Clean Air Act (CAA). Jupiter will pay a civil penalty of $2 million to be shared between the United States and the Ham­­mond Department of Environmental Management (HDEM).

On August 9, 2007, the Justice Department filed a complaint alleging that Jupiter violated the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP), applicable to aluminum recyclers that recycle painted or coated aluminum scrap, which became effective in early 2003. The situation with Jupiter is the first brought in federal court to enforce the NESHAP regulations applicable to secondary aluminum production facilities.

In the complaints, the federal, state and local governments have alleged that Jupiter failed to establish proper pollution controls and to monitor “fugitive” emissions from its aluminum recycling facility. The settlement requires Jupiter to take the following steps:

  • Determine whether modifications made on its two main melting furnaces adequately captures fugitive emissions and whether the equipment adequately removes dioxin/furans, hydrochloric acid and particulate matter at the smoke stacks.
  • Should testing demonstrate that Jupiter is not adequately capturing fugitive emissions or removing pollutants, then further modifications will be required.
  • Properly weigh scrap aluminum prior to charging it into the furnaces and keep detailed records.
  • Fund an independent monitoring consultant to assist in monitoring Jupiter’s compliance with the consent decree.
  • Allow the HDEM to install and operate a video monitoring system.
  • Resubmit an operation, maintenance and monitoring plan, and improve its maintenance and recordkeeping practices to prevent future violations.