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Astaris, Idaho Ordered to Reduce & Closely Monitor Emissions

Release Date: 12/19/2000
Contact Information: John Keenan
(206) 553-1817

December 19, 2000 - - - - - - - - - 00-71

To help protect air quality in the Pocatello area, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a Compliance Order and Information Request to Astaris Idaho. Today’s order requires the facility to act quickly to address the reported violations of its recently-implemented Federal Implementation Plan(FIP). The FIP aims at reducing and eliminating air pollution coming from the plant.

In late November, the Astaris Corporation notified EPA that emissions escaping from #4 furnace in the facility’s slag handling system were above the levels mandated in the FIP. Shortly after the report, Air Quality Program representatives of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes -- on whose land the Astaris facility is located -- observed visible emissions in the vicinity of the #4 furnace area and documented that the emissions were in fact in excess of the standard. The emissions which escape capture by the ventilation system (fugitive emissions) are required to be at or below 10% “opacity.” Opacity is a measure of the amount by which emissions obscure the ability of an observer to view an object behind the plume. Opacity is measured as a percentage, between 0% and 100%.

EPA’s order requires:
  • 1. That Astaris take all reasonable and practicable actions to minimize opacity associated with slag handling for Furnace #1 and #4 when each furnace is operating.
  • 2. That Astaris improves the air collection system for the furnace #4 by January 31, 2001, and makes the same improvements to furnace #1 before it starts up. Astaris is required to submit an update on January 15 describing the progress toward meeting the emission limit, including the ventilation system upgrades.
  • 3. That Astaris conduct monitoring of the emissions from the slag handling system at least once each day until the emissions are found to be less than the standard for 5 consecutive days. The daily monitoring will be submitted to EPA and the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes weekly for review.

For a copy of the Compliance Order, call John Keenan at 206-553-1817. To see a copy of the Astaris Idaho FIP via the Internet, go to EPA’s website at:

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