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Clean Air Act 6 articles

Manufacturer With History of Benzene Emissions Served With Federal Search Warrant

Three federal agencies served a search warrant April 18 to an Erie, Pennsylvania, manufacturer with a history of pollution problems. GoErie.com reports that the search warrant was served to Erie Coke Corp. by the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Criminal Investigations Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, but the agencies provided little details to the public about the reason for the action. “EPA can confirm a federal search warrant is being served at the 925 E. Bay Street in Erie, Pa.,” the EPA said in a news release, according to GoErie.com. “This search ... Read More

Erie Coke Corp. Sued by the EPA Over benzene Pollution at Plant

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is suing Erie Coke Corp., a merchant producer of foundry coke, over benzene pollution at a plant in Pennsylvania. According to the EPA, benzene leaks had still not been fixed, despite a previous lawsuit by the agency and the state Department of Environmental Protection regarding a similar issue of pollution. The company and both agencies completed two consent decrees that required Erie Coke Corp. to fix the pollution issues. Under obligation to the consent decrees, the company invested $15 million on plant improvements, and shelled out over $4 million in fines. However, upon inspection by the EPA in March ... Read More

Janitor Punished For Complaining of Asbestos Exposure Awarded $193,000

Federal regulators have ordered a Michigan school district to compensate a janitor who allegedly was branded a “troublemaker” and punished for complaining about job orders and conditions that exposed her and others to harmful asbestos dust. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) ordered the Dearborn Heights School District to pay the former janitor more than $193,000 in back pay, damages, and other compensation. The agency found that the school district violated the whistleblower provisions of the Clean Air Act when it retaliated against the janitor for raising valid concerns over asbestos exposure. In June 2012, the janitor objected when the ... Read More

Three face sentencing for Michigan’s largest asbestos release in decades

Three Michigan residents have pleaded guilty to federal Clean Air Act violations and await sentencing for their roles in what environmental investigators say could be the biggest release of deadly asbestos in Michigan since the substance was declared a hazardous air pollutant in 1971. LuAnne LaBrie of Kalamazoo, Mich. pleaded guilty to the felony offense of failing to notify federal or state environmental authorites about an asbestos removal project at a former power generation facility in Comstock Township, Mich. Cory Hammond of Hastings, Mich., and Robert “Mike” White of Kalamazoo both pleaded guilty for their failure to adequately wet asbestos ... Read More

Citgo hit with $2 million fine for toxic emissions and migratory bird deaths

Citgo Petroleum Corp. said it will appeal a Texas federal judge’s decision to fine the oil giant more than $2 million for illegally operating oil tanks in Corpus Christi, Texas, without covers, which exposed nearby residents to a multitude of toxins, and for intentionally allowing migratory birds to die within those tanks for several years. U.S. District Judge John Rainey issued the fines to Citgo and subsidiary company Citgo Refining & Chemicals Co. for violations of the federal Clean Air Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). The fines stem from the corporations’ 2007 jury convictions that Citgo operated oil-water ... Read More

Whistleblower fired for reporting asbestos in condo complex to be compensated

A Columbia, South Carolina, real estate management company has agreed to pay a former employee $45,000 and take other measures to ensure federal whistleblower provisions aren’t violated in the future, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced. The agreement settles a complaint brought against CMM Realty Inc. and its owner for allegedly terminating a maintenance worker after he reported asbestos control violations to state and federal regulatory agencies. According to OSHA, in May 2009 the employee was working at CMM’s Briargate Condominiums in Columbia when he encountered problems involving asbestos and asbestos exposure. Contact with asbestos fibers can ... Read More