Gansler, coal company reach agreement

John O'Brien Jul. 20, 2007, 12:22pm


BALTIMORE - Mettiki Coal has settled allegations that it is polluting the air in Garrett County, Md., and will pay a $150,000 civil penalty.

The company reached the agreement with Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler Wednesday. Gansler claimed Mettiki violated state air pollution requirements when its thermal coal dryer emitted more than the allowable amount of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere.

"Mettiki Coal has been a repeat violator of Maryland's air pollution laws," Gansler said. "Working in partnership with (the Maryland Department of the Environment), we will continue to strictly enforce our clean air laws to protect the environment and the health of all Marylanders."

Because, Gansler says, Mettiki is a repeat offender and because of the size of the emissions in this case, Mettiki has been reported to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a High Priority Violator.

As part of the agreement, Mettiki must conduct monthly inspections on the scrubber and to measure and record scrubber operation parameters continuously.

Also, Mettiki is required to increase sulfur dioxide emission testing from annually to semi-annually on the scrubber system. If it fails a future test, the company must install more air pollution control equipment.

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