Columbus Steel Castings to install monitoring equipment

Columbus Steel Castings Company, Inc., located in Columbus, Ohio, was sentenced to pay $825,000 and install additional devices to prevent air pollution after pleading guilty to 6 counts of violating the Clean Air Act.

The company admitted that between 2004 and 2007 it failed to operate air pollution controls for four different emission sources at the plant for varying periods of time. The company also failed to report malfunctions of air pollution control equipment. Daily visual emission checks, designed to determine if the plant was emitting excess dust or smoke, were not conducted on weekends while the facility was operating. Stack tests, which are necessary to ensure compliance with the Clean Air Act, were not conducted as required by the company’s air permit. The company also failed to submit accurate annual compliance certifications.

The company was sentenced to pay a $660,000 fine and a total of $165,000 to 2 different Columbus charitable organizations – Grange Insurance Audubon Center and Physicians Free Clinic – which serve residents who live near the plant. One project will fund a program that provides environmental education to students. The other project will provide medical services, medications and transportation services for residents of the south side of Columbus with ailments related to respiratory illnesses.

The judge also ordered the company to install interlock devices designed to shut down emission sources when the associated air pollution control equipment is not in operation.