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Monthly Archives: January 2013

  • Four Oklahoma employers receive Clean Air Act citations

    The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued penalties against four employers in Muskogee County, Oklahoma, in December 2012. According to the Muskogee Phoenix, these companies were cited for violations of the Clean Air Act.

    State officials have fined various businesses over the past three years due to numerous act violations. Monetary penalties were assessed against two Oklahoma employers last month, and all four facilities will search for ways to resolve air quality concerns.

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrators said that 36 Muskogee County employers are subject to Clean Air Act permit requirements. Additionally, Oklahoma leaders will enforce penalties on businesses that disregard act regulations, regardless of whether these companies operate in Muskogee County.

    "DEQ responds to environmental violations throughout Oklahoma," DEQ representative Erin Hatfield told the news source. "It is simply a coincidence that four Muskogee area companies have come under enforcement action in the past three years."

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  • Kentucky utility company penalized for clean air violations

    Kentucky Utilities (KU), a regulated electric utility in Lexington, Kentucky, was recently fined for numerous clean air offenses. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials ordered the company to install a new sulfuric acid mist emission control system. Additionally, KU administrators will spend $500,000 on an environmental mitigation project for an elementary school in its service area.

    The company will invest $57 million for the new system and to replace a coal-fired boiler, and faces a civil penalty of $300,000 due to Clean Air Act violations at its Ghent, Kentucky, facility. EPA administrators said the citations against the utility could help reduce sulfuric acid mist emissions.

    "Reducing emissions of this pollutant is vital to protect the local environment and health of the residents of this community," EPA spokesperson Gwendolyn Keyes-Fleming said.

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  • Minnesota officials control air pollution

    Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) administrators effectively managed numerous air pollutants over the past two years. According to Minnesota Public Radio News, these officials improved air quality in the Twin Cities by focusing on fine particle pollution.

    Recent MPCA data showed that the Twin Cities area averages roughly 10 air quality alerts in most years. However, there were only four such alerts in both 2011 and 2012.

    Air quality warnings are issued if pollutant levels are unhealthy for certain groups, including people who have respiratory problems. MPCA official Rich Strassman said that the recent reduction in the number of warnings is a positive sign for the state, but noted that the weather also impacted the agency's calculations.

    "We can probably attribute it to some fairly active weather in 2012, where the concentrations just didn't accumulate over multiple days like we've seen in the past," Strassman told the news source.

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