The Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday announced it has assessed a civil penalty against PQ Corporation in the amount of $1.7M for air quality violations in the City of Chester, Delaware County.
Quarterly emissions reports submitted to the Department by PQ showed that the company exceeded several permitted emission limits for pollutants like carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides, and failed to satisfy the data availability requirements for their systems. The assessment covers the period between August 2011 and June 2013.
“This penalty reinforces how important it is for companies to accurately control, track, and report their emissions. Failure to comply with environmental regulations is not acceptable to the department,” said DEP Secretary John Quigley. “We take these issues very seriously, and it is our duty to protect the health and welfare of the citizens of the Commonwealth and the environment.”
In a 2009 agreement with the DEP, PQ equipped its sodium silicate furnace with Continuous Emission Monitoring Systems to monitor nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and opacity to demonstrate compliance with its air quality permit limits.
This installation came after several source tests were performed in which the company failed to show its ability to meet permit limits. Violations included standards carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, opacity (darkness) of smoke.
A Continuous Emission Monitoring System is a combination of the hardware and software used for the continuous determination and recording of a value for compliance with an emissions standard, i.e. carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide), operational criterion, i.e. temperature or throughput, or informational reporting requirement, i.e. data availability.It includes the measurement interface, all necessary measurement devices and associated calibration and data handling apparatus and procedures.