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Southwire to Pay Unprecedented Fine for Clean Air Act Violations

Release Date: 07/23/2009
Contact Information: Laura Niles, (404) 562-8353, niles.laura@epa.gov

(Atlanta, Ga. – July 23, 2009) In the largest civil settlement obtained for alleged violations of the Secondary Aluminum Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) regulations at a single facility in the Southeastern United States, Southwire Company has agreed to pay a total of $337,500 in civil penalties to the United States and the Commonwealth of Kentucky to address alleged noncompliance in testing, operational, monitoring, and record-keeping requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA) at its Hawesville, Ky. secondary aluminum production facility.

The civil action, a response to a Feb. 20, 2006 Notice of Violation from the Kentucky Energy and Environmental Cabinet Department of Air Quality (KDAQ) and a Feb. 21, 2006 Finding of Violation issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, addresses penalties associated with the facility’s lack of air quality monitoring measures and procedures which have since been addressed. As a “major source” as defined by the Clean Air Act (CAA), the secondary aluminum production facility must comply with all pertinent regulations at the federal, state, and local levels pursuant to the CAA.

In Aug. 2007, the KDAQ confirmed that air pollutant levels from the secondary aluminum production facility meet the industry standards established by the MACT rule, which regulates the emission of metallic hazardous air pollutants, dioxins/furans, and hydrogen chloride, hydrogen fluoride and chlorine associated with secondary aluminum production. Because the facility has come into compliance with the MACT standards since notification of the violations, the settlement requires no further action to address compliance with the CAA at the facility.