TCEQ / EPA UPDATE: 3 In A Row – Exide smelter still exceeding lead emission standards; Penalty being negotiated in EPA Formal Administrative Order for illegal discharges of pollutants into storm water
For the third month in a row, TCEQ monitoring data shows that lead emissions from the Frisco lead smelter exceeded federal safety standards. May’s monitoring report showed .20 micrograms per cubic meter. The monitoring report for March was .19, and for April, it was .22 micrograms per cubic meter. The maximum legal limit is .15 micrograms per cubic meter.
Historically, seasonal factors such as the change in prevailing wind direction from Winter to Spring, and where monitors are located in relation to such can result in lower emissions numbers during transitional months. Such can be taken into account when considering Exideâ€™s lead emissions numbers for December, January and February, which were slightly below legal limits.
To download a copy of latest TCEQ monitoring of Exide lead smelter, follow this link and scroll down to â€œMonitoring Dataâ€ and click on â€œAir Monitoring Data from 2002 through May 27, 2012â€³ link:
Update on EPA’s Formal Administrative Order Against Exide
for Unauthorized Discharges of Lead and Other Pollutants into Storm Water
Negotiations are still underway for the specific penalty Exide will have to pay for unauthorized discharges of pollutants, including lead and chromium, into storm water at its Frisco lead smelter.
The EPA filed an Administrative Complaint against Exide Frisco in early January of this year for violations of the national Clean Water Act and its National Pollution Discharge and Elimination System (NPDES) permit. The TCEQ has the authority to enforce the parameters of the NPDES permit, but if it chooses not to, the EPA can step in ensure compliance and protection of waters.
The EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance issued a Formal Administration Order against Exide, and classified the violation as CWA 309G2B AO For Class II Penalties. Below is an overview of Class II Civil Penalties, according to the Administrative Penalties Section of the Clean Water Act:
- Class II Civil Penalties:
- Class II penalties may not exceed $100,000 per day but may group to $125,000;
- Class II penalties must be assessed in accordance with the more formal provisions of Sections 554 of Title 5 of the U.S. Code;
- Civil penalties under this section must be by public notice, and be subject to public comment or hearing.
- Judicial Review of these administrative â€œcivil penaltiesâ€ is provided in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Class II civil penalties.