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Ohio company agrees to reduce hazardous emissions

Release Date: 12/14/2007
Contact Information: EPA William Omohundro, 312-353-8254, omohundro.william@epa.gov DOJ 202-514-2007, TDD 202-514-1888

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Washington, D.C. - Dec. 14, 2007) Perma-Fix of Dayton Inc., an industrial waste processing facility based in Dayton, Ohio, has agreed to impleme nt an air pollution control program that will reduce hazardous air emissions, the Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced.

The settlement filed today in U.S. District Court in Dayton resolves alleged violations of the Clean Air Act and includes a civil penalty of $360,000. The company also had agreed to spend $562,000 in order to complete three environmental projects.

"Today's agreement requires Perma-Fix to comply with the Clean Air Act and take steps to reduce air pollution from their plant," said Ronald J. Tenpas, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division. "The environmental projects that Perma-Fix has agreed to complete will ultimately benefit the local community by reducing hazardous air emissions that can cause health problems and damage the environment."

"This agreement will bring Perma-Fix into compliance with the Clean Air Act and benefit the local community by reducing air pollutants," said EPA Region 5 Administrator Mary A. Gade. "Most of the money for the environmental projects will be used to reduce emissions and odors."

The original complaint against Perma-Fix was filed on Dec. 2, 2004, by citizen Barbara Fisher, alleging that that the facility violated federal and state emissions regulations. The United States intervened in the case in May 2006, alleging federal Clean Air Act violations.

Today's consent decree resolves the specific allegations that Perma-Fix is a major source of hazardous air pollutants, that it failed to comply with national emission standards for these pollutants, failed to apply for the necessary air pollution control permits and failed to respond to an EPA information request. Under the agreement, Perma-Fix must comply with the national emission standards and apply to the state of Ohio for the necessary permits that will require emissions controls.

The agreement also requires that emission reductions to protect public health will come from:

  • The use of a thermal oxidizer to destroy emissions from storage tanks, biological treatment tanks and truck loading operations;
  • Two environmental projects that will improve the operation of the thermal oxidizer;
  • Reduction of emissions from exhaust vents at the laboratory;
  • Better monitoring and recording of the operation of biological treatment tanks and the thermal oxidizer;
  • Engineering evaluations to ensure proper design and use of equipment; and
  • An environmental management plan and a community response plan.

Hazardous air pollutants may cause serious health effects including birth defects and cancer. They may also cause harmful environmental effects.

The consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and approval by the federal court. A copy of the consent decree is available on the Department of Justice Web site at http://www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html.
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