Tuesday, July 30, 2019

DEP Signs $750,000 Penalty Agreement With PQ Corporation For Air Violations In Chester, Delaware County

On July 30, the Department of Environmental Protection announced it has signed a Consent Assessment of Civil Penalty with PQ Corporation in the amount of $750,000 for air quality violations in the City of Chester, Delaware County for the period between July 2013 and December 2018.
A requirement of PQ’s air quality permit is that the company monitor hourly emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon monoxide (CO), opacity, and data availability. 
PQ has a Continuous Emissions Monitoring System (CEMS) for this purpose. Prior to the CEMS being certified in 2014, PQ was required to complete annual stack testing to demonstrate compliance with permitted limits for NOx, CO, and particulate matter. The company is also required to keep records of their 12-month rolling totals.
DEP pursued penalties for hourly CEMS violations, NOx stack test violations, 12-month rolling NOx violations, and reporting violations where the company failed to submit quarterly reports in a timely manner. 
“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 Southeast Regional Director Pat Patterson. “Collecting penalties and fines is important but bringing polluters into compliance as quickly as possible is the ultimate goal towards protecting the people and environment of the Commonwealth.”
A CEMS 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. NOx, CO, SO2), 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.
Media questions should be directed to Virginia Cain, DEP Southeast Regional Office, 484-250-5808 or send email to: vicain@pa.gov

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