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News Releases from Region 03

EPA Settlement with S.H. Bell Requires Manganese Emission Safeguards in Ohioville, Pa. and East Liverpool, Ohio

03/07/2018
Contact Information: 
Josh Singer (EPA Region 5) (singer.joshua@epa.gov)
312-353-5069
Roy Seneca (EPA Region 3) (seneca.roy@epa.gov)
215-814-5567
Wyn Hornbuckle (U.S. Dept. of Justice) (wyn.hornbuckle@usdoj.gov)
202-514-2007

CHICAGO (March 7, 2018) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice today announced a final consent decree with S.H. Bell Co. requiring the business to monitor and take measures to reduce manganese emissions from its 92-acre raw products storage and material handling facility that spans the Pennsylvania-Ohio border in Ohioville, Pa. and East Liverpool, Ohio.

Under the consent decree, S.H. Bell is required to take measures to provide both immediate and long-term reductions in fugitive manganese emissions. S.H. Bell has been performing these measures since January 2017 when the consent decree was lodged in federal court.  These safeguards include:

  • Fugitive dust control measures (such as rolling doors, and a baghouse with monitoring/recording systems);
  • A tracking system for manganese materials;
  • Video recordings of certain facility operations to help the company and regulators determine the source of manganese emissions detected in the future;
  • Fence line monitoring with EPA-approved monitors;
  • Required steps to investigate and, if needed, take corrective action if emissions exceed specified trigger levels.

The consent decree requires S.H. Bell to collect air monitoring data from three fence line locations surrounding the facility and take specific actions if its monthly or annual ambient air manganese concentrations exceed certain action levels. The EPA website contains the air monitoring data collected at S.H. Bell’s fence line from Aug. 20, 2017, onwards, as well as reports relating to any exceedances of the action levels.  

The consent decree is based on the government’s authority under the Clean Air Act and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (or CERCLA also known as the Superfund law).  This federal action builds upon steps previously taken by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. 

Manganese is a naturally occurring element found in many soils, rocks and foods and is used in the production of steel and other industrial processes.  Manganese can be toxic when inhaled by humans at elevated exposure levels leading to neurological and neuropsychological damage.

For more information about S.H. Bell in East Liverpool: https://www.epa.gov/oh/east-liverpool-ohio-and-glasgow-borough-pennsylvania-air-monitoring-data