PHILADELPHIA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has charged Armco Inc. with chronic violations of its national pollutant discharge elimination system (Npdes) permit at its Butler, Pa., plant.
The lawsuit asks for $ 10,000 a day in penalties for each day of violations that occurred prior to Feb. 4, 1987, and $ 25,000 for each day of violations after Feb. 4, 1987.
The suit was filed under the Water Quality Act of 1987, which amended the Clean Water Act, authorized increased penalties for Npdes permit violations.
The suit alleges that the Butler plant has been discharging levels of total suspended solids, fluoride, chromium, nickel and iron that exceed the limits set in its Npdes permit. More than 170 violations allegedly occurred at the plant since February 1982.
We believe that the major cause of Armco’s compliance problem is poor operation and maintenance of their wastewater treatment facilities,” said James M. Seif, EPA Region 3 administrator. So we are asking the court to have the company do an environmental audit to pinpoint malfunctioning equipment in their system and replace it.”
The Butler plant houses Armco’s Specialty Steel Division, which produces specialty, flat-rolled, electrical, and stainless steel. Chemicals used to clean and treat the steel produce wastewater that has low ph and high levels of heavy metals.