EPA Region 5 recently cited General Iron Industries Inc., for alleged violations of clean-air regulations at the company's scrap-processing yard in Chicago.
In May 1999, EPA issued a cease and desist order to General Iron after refrigerant releases from appliances processed at the scrap yard were discovered.
Chloroflourocarbon refrigerants deplete the good ozone layer, allowing dangerous, cancer-causing ultraviolet rays from the sun to strike the earth.
Production of some of these chemicals was stopped in 1995, and now Federal law strictly controls their use and handling.
EPA inspectors discovered, June 3, 1999, that General Iron was not complying with the order to desist.
EPA found that the company violated State limits on visible emissions of particulates from two metal shredders. In addition, General Iron failed to comply with work practice rules requiring that specific procedures be followed to minimize particulate releases.
For now, this is a preliminary finding of violations. EPA has a choice of issuing a compliance order, assessing an administrative penalty or bringing suit against the company.
General Iron has 30 days to request a meeting with EPA to discuss the allegations and how to resolve them.
"EPA's mission is to protect public health and the environment," said Margaret Guerriero, acting director of the regional Air and Radiation Division. "We will take the necessary steps to ensure compliance with clean-air regulations."