Several months after a large fire broke out at the Metalico shredding facility on Neville Island, the company has been issued a violation notice by the EPA for operating without the appropriate permits.
According to the notice, the facility has operated under a minor source permit since 2007 while generating emissions that actually warrant a Title V permit.
Although a disruption to many neighbors, the April 14 fire that spewed out a cloud of thick smog around the Neville Island area was not listed on the notice among the violation offenses. Instead, the notice calls out three occasions in the past year where the facility was giving off visible emissions while operating as normal.
Evidence of the violations was captured by a specialized camera positioned on a cliff edge in Emsworth overlooking the Metalico site. The camera is operated by local advocacy group Allegheny County Clean Air Now (ACCAN), who monitor air quality at the location with support from Carnegie Mellon University.
ACCAN advocates have for years been pushing regulatory authorities to observe stricter oversight of pollution issues in the Neville Island area.
Representatives of the group say the EPA’s action affirms the volunteer hours spent on tracking Metalico emissions.
“I think it's really important to note that our ACCAN camera was the documentation for the violations,” Karen Grzywinski, ACCAN board president, wrote in an email statement.
“It's also important to note that ACCAN now has more than 350 pollution events posted at accancamera.com, with 67 of those events posted after the April 14 fire – showing that Metalico has been operating with no concern for residents during the more than 3 years since... the camera has been operating.”