GASP on Wednesday afternoon presented testimony at a public hearing in Natrona Heights held by Allegheny County Health Department to solicit comments on a draft Title V permit it issued to ATI.
We also submitted formal technical comments that you can read here.
Here are the comments our Executive Director Patrick Campbell presented about the Brackenridge-based polluter:
Good afternoon. My name is Patrick Campbell, I am the executive director of the Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP), a nonprofit organization working to improve our regional air quality since 1969.
ATI’s steelmaking operations in Brackenridge have been a major source of air pollution in Allegheny County for decades, and it’s long past time for the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) to issue a strong Title V permit that assures the facility complies with air quality regulations.
Unfortunately, the draft Title V operation permit issued by ACHD is lacking - especially regarding testing, monitoring, and recordkeeping requirements.
The permit establishes annual and pounds-per-hour emission limits for the Electric Arc Furnaces’ emissions of total particulate matter and other hazardous air pollutants. However, it only requires a performance test to be run every five years to determine compliance with those emission limits and collect certain information about each heat processed during that performance test.
We want to stress that a performance test that is conducted only once every five years is, by itself, in no way sufficient to assure compliance with annual and hourly emission limits.
Moreover, it does not appear from the permit that ATI is required to collect data regarding certain heats conducted in the ordinary course of business that could be compared to similar data collected during the performance test to determine compliance with those annual and hourly emission limits.
Without that data, it is not clear to GASP how ACHD can assure ATI is complying with the annual and hourly emission limits outlined in the permit.
GASP believes ACHD must revise the permit to require ATI to establish operating limits based on parameters developed during the performance test and record and report data regarding those parameters for each heat.
That data could then be compared to the parameters developed during the performance test and enable ACHD to determine and assure ATI’s compliance with all applicable emission limits.