The Allegheny County Health Department filed an enforcement order Oct. 5 fining Neville Chemical $62,075 and requesting a corrective action plan, following a Sept. 2 leak that spewed hazardous emissions into the local airshed.
As well as exceeding federal air emission limits, the enforcement order also charges the chemical company with failing to submit a breakdown report and determine the cause of the leak in a timely manner.
The health department is committed to enforcing the regulations,” said Patrick Dowd, chief operating officer in a press release. “When breakdowns occur, it is our job to hold the source of the breakdown responsible, and we take that responsibility seriously.”
According to the department, the emissions were caused by a leaky valve that allowed “raw material to enter a resin kettle and release a hydrocarbon mixture into the air.”
Hundreds of residents as far away as Downtown Pittsburgh reported waking up to an overpowering odor on the morning of Sept. 2. Some went as far as to call emergency services.
The emissions exceeded federal limits for short-term Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) emissions, as well as for short-term and long-term Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) emissions, according to the health department.
The Oct. 5 order gives Neville Chemical 60 days to submit a plan for preventing a repeat occurrence.