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Central Massachusetts Sand and Gravel Company Hit with $120,000 Civil Penalty for Air Violations

Kimball Sand Company, Inc. agreed to pay a civil penalty of $120,000 and implement corrective actions as part of a Consent Agreement and Final Order resolving allegations that Kimball operated stone crushing and processing equipment and engines/generators in violation of the federal Clean Air Act.  As part of the settlement, Kimball agreed to other corrective actions as well as the penalty.  This enforcement action is a reminder to all businesses, whether large or small, of their initial and continuing obligation to determine if their equipment and operations trigger federal CAA requirements, or in the alternative face potentially significant civil penalties.

Kimball, founded in 1979, operates two stone crushing and processing facilities in Northborough and Blackstone, Massachusetts.  Kimball began operating its Blackstone facility around 1985, and its Northborough facility around 1995.  Operations include various stone crushers, screeners, and belt conveyers, as well as non-emergency, stationary diesel engines/generators. 

After conducting inspections at Kimball’s facilities, U.S. EPA determined that certain stone crushing and processing equipment was subject to the federal CAA’s New Source Performance Standards for Nonmetallic Mineral Processing Plants found at 40 CFR Part 60, Subpart OOO (Nonmetallic Mineral Processing NSPS).  The NSPS applies to certain affected facilities in a fixed or portable nonmetallic mineral processing plant, including crushers, grinding mills, screening operations, bucket elevators, belt conveyors, bagging operations, storage bins, and enclosed truck or railcar loading stations.  EPA alleged that Kimball’s various crushers, screeners and conveyors were affected facilities subject to the NSPS’s Method 9 visible emission testing requirements, and that Kimball did not conduct this testing to determine fugitive emissions from subject equipment until several years after the initial startup of its Northborough plant, nor did Kimball provide timely notification of the actual date of initial startup for its stone crushing and gravel processing equipment at either facility.

EPA also determined that Kimball’s non-emergency, stationary diesel engines/generators were subject to the CAA’s National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Stationary Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines found at 40 CFR Part 63, Subpart ZZZZ (RICE NESHAP).  EPA claimed that Kimball did not submit the required initial notifications for the engines, did not conduct initial performance testing or other compliance demonstrations, and did not meet the required CO emissions limits.  Subsequent to EPA’s inspections, Kimball replaced the three existing engines with newer, cleaner engines.

For assistance with determining if there are any federal CAA standards applicable to operations at your site, please contact Heidi Knight.