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Clean Air Act Case Settled with O-N Minerals

Release Date: 01/20/2010
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, EPA, 215-814-5543, & William Hayden, VaDEQ, 804-698-4447,

PHILADELPHIA (Jan. 20, 2009) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality announced consent agreements today with O-N Minerals (Chemstone) Company, a lime production facility in Strasburg, Va. The agreements resolve alleged violations of the company modifying its rotary kiln - - increasing air pollution emissions - - without installing the necessary pollution control equipment or obtaining required permits. O-N Minerals will pay two penalties, one of $158,980 to Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and another of $121,829 to the United States Treasury.

In addition to paying the EPA penalty, O-N agreed to install and operate a sulfur dioxide (SO2) continuous emissions monitoring system to monitor SO2 emissions 24/7. The company agreed to meet the state’s permit limits for SO2 two years earlier so the emissions will not limit visibility at a nearby national park. As a part of this settlement, O-N Minerals will also perform visible emissions readings, limit the sulfur content of any coal or fuel oil burned in the rotary kiln, and achieve a lower SO2 emission rate from the rotary kiln. These requirements are estimated to reduce O-N’s sulfur dioxide emissions by as much as 425,000 pounds per year for the next two years.

In the separate state-issued action, Virginia’s DEQ issued O-N Minerals a consent order for SO2 and other clean air violations. In addition to assessing the state penalty, DEQ is requiring a revised state permit. EPA and Virginia’s DEQ closely coordinated on these clean air act enforcement cases.

Emissions of sulfur and sulfur dioxide contribute to smog and acid rain. Sulfur dioxide pollution has been linked to serious human health effects, including respiratory function and cardiovascular illnesses.