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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 4, 2005

Contact: Erin Phalon
(609) 984-1795

DEP ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT WITH ATLANTIC STATES

Company Will Implement $9.3 Million
Mercury Emissions Reduction Project

(05/52) TRENTON -- New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced an Administrative Consent Order (ACO) with Atlantic States Cast Iron Pipe Company settling air emission and water violations at its Phillipsburg facility that occurred since 2003. Atlantic States has voluntarily agreed to install and begin operation of its mercury reduction technology, which will be the first of its kind in North America, by January 6, 2006.

"Today's settlement will protect public health and the environment in New Jersey by significantly reducing mercury emissions," said Acting Governor Richard J. Codey. "It reinforces New Jersey's commitment to reducing mercury exposure through the mercury switch legislation and DEP's 2004 mercury air emissions rules."

Atlantic States has agreed to install a state-of-the-art, $9.3 million emission control system to substantially reduce emissions, including mercury emissions, from this facility. The company also will pay a fine in the amount of $51,520 and contribute $85,000 toward an ambient air mercury monitoring project in Warren County. In addition, Atlantic States will undertake several projects to minimize fugitive emissions from the foundry operations and install and operate a continuous emission monitoring system to monitor mercury emissions.

"The Atlantic States settlement is another example of DEP's national leadership in the reduction of mercury emissions, which can cause serious health problems," said Commissioner Campbell. "The technology to be installed under this agreement will set the industry standard for restricting mercury emissions from foundries."

Atlantic States' mercury reduction project will voluntarily remove approximately 160 pounds of mercury from the environment four years before DEP's new mercury restrictions take effect in 2010. The company has agreed to allow its technology to be studied and used as a model for mercury control at other foundries throughout the United States.

DEP in 2004 published mercury air emissions standards under which foundries and steel mills by January 1, 2010 must reduce mercury emissions to a rate of 35 mg per ton of steel produced.

"We are extremely proud of the fact that Atlantic States will be introducing mercury control technology that will result in significant benefits to the environment, and can serve as the model for other foundries throughout North America," said Mitchell Kidd, Vice President and General Manager of Atlantic States. "We sincerely appreciate the cooperation of the DEP and we will continue to work closely with regulators and regional organizations towards environmental protection for our community."

Atlantic States' emissions control system will be comprised of a baghouse with activated carbon injection. In addition to mercury emission reductions, the emission control system is expected to yield additional environmental benefits including the following:

  • Reduce CO emissions by approximately 60 percent.
  • Reduce arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, nickel and manganese emissions.
  • Reduce natural gas use by approximately 10 percent, thus reducing NOx, CO and CO2 emissions.
  • Reduce electricity consumption by approximately 25 percent, thus reducing NOx, CO and CO2 emissions.
  • Reduce waste disposal by approximately 40 tons per day.
  • Improve beneficial reuse of the dry material collected from the baghouse.
  • Allow waste heat recovery, reducing plant wide NOx, CO and CO2 emissions.
  • Reduce offsite noise by eliminating high-pressure scrubber fans.
  • Reduce odor.

Mercury is a highly toxic pollutant. Exposure to the most toxic form of mercury comes primarily from eating contaminated fish and shellfish. Children and pregnant women are especially susceptible to mercury contamination, which can cause permanent brain damage to the fetus, infants, and young children. Mercury exposure has been shown to affect the ability of children to concentrate and to remember.

Even exposure to low levels of mercury can permanently damage the brain and nervous system and cause behavioral changes. At least one in 10 pregnant women in New Jersey have concentrations of mercury in their hair samples that exceed safe levels.

 

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NJDEP Mercury Task Force
http://www.nj.gov/dep/dsr/mercury_task_force.htm

 

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Last Updated: May 4, 2005