Energy / Eramet / Good Neighbor Campaigns

U.S. EPA seeks comment on proposed rule change for ferroalloys

Tapping the furnace at Eramet.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. EPA is considering stronger pollution limits on the toxic air pollutants from manganese refinery Eramet Marietta Incorporated and similar sources.  These emissions include manganese, lead, hydrochloric acid, mercury, nickel, arsenic, chromium, and others.  The U.S. EPA has recognized that these pollutants create a high health risk for people who live within 50 km of the Eramet plant, including cancer and chronic central nervous system damage.  The U.S. EPA estimates its proposal would reduce lifetime cancer risk based on actual emissions by 94%, reduce the risk of chronic effects to the nervous system by 98%, and reduce the acute health risk by 97%.  This agency rule review comes after Sierra Club and legal group Earthjustice brought a lawsuit for failure to review the rule on a previously established schedule.  Under the leadership of Administrator Lisa Jackson, the U.S. EPA agreed to review, propose and finalize a rule by June 2012. If approved, the new rules would go into effect by June of 2014.  The public is invited to comment on the proposed rule change.

All comments must  be submitted no later than this Tuesday, January 31, 2012.

Proposed changes:

  • Set specific pollution limits for mercury and other air pollutants from ferroalloys sources for the first time
  • Set stricter limits on emissions of metal particles
  • Require enclosure of the furnace buildings to reduce the amount of fugitive emissions (leaks)

To make a comment, send an email with the subject line “Attn: Docket ID Number EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0895 – Ferroalloys Comment”.

— Melissa English, Development Director, Ohio Citizen Action.