Keystone Cement to pay for pollution violations

Keystone Cement Co in East Allen Township, Pennsylvania is to pay nearly $200,000 for violating air quality standards over a four-year period, the state Department of Environmental Protection said.

According to a department statement, the company exceeded emission limits for certain pollutants and failed to satisfactorily self-report data from its continuous emissions monitoring system, which monitors sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide produced during kiln operations.

In addition, from September 2013 through June 2014, Department of Environmental Protection inspectors noted pressure-drop violations related to the air pollution control equipment.

The violations occurred after Keystone replaced two of its cement kilns  with a single larger, more efficient kiln in 2009. That project was part of a $165 million modernization that began in 2006.

Data from the emissions monitoring system is submitted to the Department of Environmental Protection every quarter for review to determine whether the company is operating in compliance with applicable emission limits.

“The self-reporting of emissions is an important part of demonstrating compliance with permitted emissions limits. The department takes emissions monitoring and the proper operation of control equipment very seriously,” said Mike Bedrin, director, Department of Environmental Protection Northeast Regional Office.

“Our actions here serve to reinforce how important it is for companies to accurately keep track of and report their emissions to make sure they are operating in compliance with their permits and air quality regulations,” Bedrin said.

Keystone, founded in 1928, makes Portland and masonry cements for highways, bridges and buildings. It is owned by Cementos Portland Valderrivas of Madrid.

Money from the civil penalty of $197,203 will go to the Pennsylvania Clean Air Fund, which is administered by the Department of Environmental Protection for use in programs designed to reduce air pollution.


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