US EPA - Environmental Protection Agency

Griffin Pipe Products Agrees to Resolve Issues with Lead Emissions, Air and Water Violations at Council Bluffs, Iowa

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Lenexa, Kan. -- EPA Region 7 has reached an agreement with Griffin Pipe Products, LLC, to settle violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and Clean Water Act (CWA) at its Council Bluffs, Iowa, facility that will require Griffin Pipe to lower lead emissions and pay a civil penalty of $950,000.

Although Griffin Pipe’s Council Bluffs location has ceased production for business reasons, if the facility reopens the settlement agreement requires Griffin to lower its lead air pollution emissions. Reductions in lead pollution are a priority as the Council Bluff’s area is currently designated as nonattainment for the lead national ambient air quality standard (NAAQS).

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources referred this matter to EPA after Griffin Pipe conducted stack tests at its facility in 2009. For all three tests, the facility’s lead emissions exceeded limits established in its Air Quality Construction Permit and Title V Operating Permit. Additional testing in 2009 revealed that particulate matter emissions also exceeded permitted limits. EPA issued a Notice of Violation to Griffin Pipe in July 2010.

Griffin Pipe violated the Clean Water Act by illegally discharging untreated process wastewater to the city’s wastewater collection system from at least April 2007 until April 2008. These discharges exceeded the effluent limits for lead and zinc. In March 2011, EPA issued an administrative order to the company for violations of its storm water permit. Griffin also violated its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit by discharging zinc, lead, copper and other pollutants in violation of its permit levels for at least 582 days between 2006 and 2011.

The company has installed a $14 million baghouse that eliminated the majority of pollutants in its wastewater discharges and significantly improved air emissions.

As part of the settlement agreement, Griffin Pipe Products has certified that it is now in compliance with the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. The consent agreement is subject to a 30-day public comment period before it becomes final. Information on how to submit comments is available online.

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