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Friday, November 1, 2013

DEP reaches settlement with Northampton County foam manufacturer for air quality violations

DEP reaches settlement with Northampton County foam manufacturer for air quality violations

WILKES-BARRE -- The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced today that it has signed a consent order and agreement with Ecopax, LLC of Forks Township, Northampton County which requires the company to pay a civil penalty of $192,085.78 for violations of the Air Pollution Control Act. The department determined the company failed to properly monitor and control air emissions from May 2008 through May 2011.

Ecopax manufactures food grade polystyrene foam containers.

The department reviewed records from the company during that three-year period and determined that Ecopax violated the conditions of its plan approval permit by failing to maintain the minimum operating temperature of a regenerative thermal oxidizer (RTO) which is used to control air pollution.

The DEP also determined that, while the RTO was in operation, not all components of the unit were working properly. During an inspection of the facility in 2008, it was determined that the RTO was in “off mode” while manufacturing was in process.

“Violations like this add to the overall breakdown of adequate air quality control measures”, said Mike Bedrin, Director of the Northeast Regional Office in Wilkes-Barre. “A company must make sure that all equipment is operating efficiently in order to reduce pollution”.

On September 7, 2011, Ecopax completed testing of the RTO and the results were found to be in compliance with emission limitations. Prior to this agreement, Ecopax has had no violation or penalties assessed from the department in the previous five years.

For more information, call 570-826-2511 or visit www.dep.state.pa.us.

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