MDE, Attorney General Reach Settlement with Mettiki
Coal to Curb Emissions
BALTIMORE, MD (July
18, 2007) – The Maryland Department
of the Environment (MDE) and the Office of the Attorney General
today filed a Consent Decree in Baltimore City Circuit Court to
address air pollution violations that occurred at the Mettiki Coal
facility in Oakland (Garrett County). Mettiki violated state air
pollution requirements when its thermal coal dryer emitted sulfur
dioxide into the atmosphere in excess of permitted levels.
Sulfur dioxide leads to the formation of fine particles that impact
public health,” said MDE Secretary Shari T. Wilson. “Much
of Maryland exceeds federal standards for fine particles. Fine
particle pollution is a significant health issue. These requirements
are designed to prevent future exceedances of sulfur dioxide levels
at this facility.”
The Decree requires Mettiki to pay a $150,000 civil penalty. Mettiki
is required to conduct monthly inspections on the scrubber and
to measure and record scrubber operational parameters continuously
to ensure optimal performance of the pollution control equipment.
If optimal performance levels are not met, Mettiki will be required
to make improvements to the air pollution control equipment (scrubber)
that controls the thermal coal dryer. Mettiki is also required
to increase sulfur dioxide emission testing from annually to semi-annually
on the scrubber system that controls the thermal coal dryer. If
Mettiki fails a future sulfur dioxide test, the company must install
additional air pollution control equipment.
Mettiki Coal has been a repeat violator of Maryland’s air
pollution laws,” said Attorney General Doug Gansler. “Working
in partnership with MDE, we will continue to strictly enforce our
clean air laws to protect the environment and the health of all
Due to the nature and size of the emissions and violations of this
case, and because of previous enforcement actions taken against
Mettiki for similar violations, this case has been reported to
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a High Priority Violator.
For more information about MDE Enforcement and Compliance, visit: www.mde.state.md.us/AboutMDE/enfcomp.asp.