PITTSBURGH, April 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Shenango Incorporated has reached a consent agreement with the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) to complete a series of additional upgrades at the Neville Island coke battery that will enhance the control of emissions and help attain and maintain compliance with the county's environmental air quality standards.
"This settlement recognizes the steps Shenango already has taken to reduce emissions and sets a clear path forward for how we will continue to improve environmental performance," said Gary Gross, Vice President of DTE Energy Services. "We appreciate Allegheny County Health Department's partnership with Shenango, which has aided in our development of new and innovative engineering solutions."
The agreement sets an aggressive timeline for Shenango to complete and install system upgrades to address alleged emissions violations, including:
- By May 15, 2014, Shenango will install a shed extension to minimize the opening between the quench tower and the main shed.
- By May 31, 2014, Shenango will submit a comprehensive maintenance plan for the bag house that captures dust and particulate matter during the pushing process.
- By June 30, 2014, Shenango will complete upgrades to the pushing emission control shed.
The $750,000 cost for implementing these solutions is in addition to the $41 million in capital improvements already planned for the battery through 2018. The battery also will spend $300,000 for a supplemental environmental project aimed at enhancing particulate collection from the quench tower.
The settlement requires Shenango to pay a $300,000 fine to resolve alleged violations from 2012 through the effective date of the order. The details of the allegations and the settlement are contained in the consent agreement filed by DTE Energy Services and ACHD in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.
"Our improvements go beyond physical upgrades," Gross said. "Shenango also has supplemented existing environmental awareness programs with a new hands-on training program for plant operators to educate them about how their actions impact the environment and what they can do to improve what they do every day. We want to be a good neighbor to Neville Island and our surrounding communities."
DTE Energy Services (DTEES), based in Ann Arbor, Mich., purchased the battery in 2008. It immediately began making improvements to the facility to address environmental concerns, including ceramic welding of oven wall joints, rebuilding gas regenerators, enhancing the plant electric reliability, inspecting and repairing flue walls monthly and changing out one to two coke oven doors weekly. These measures have significantly reduced opacity levels from the facility's combustion stack and other fugitive sources. They also have significantly reduced the number, intensity, and duration of opacity periods that allegedly exceeded the county's standards.
Shenango Incorporated produces metallurgical coke, coke oven gas and other salable byproducts and provides approximately 165 full time jobs for community residents, including approximately 138 members of the United Steelworkers union. Annual payroll and benefits are approximately $18.6 million per year. In addition, about 100 contractors work at the plant daily.
DTEES is a subsidiary of DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE), a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. DTEES, headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., acquires, develops, builds, owns and operates projects for large, energy-intensive industrial customers. Information about DTE Energy is available at dteenergy.com, twitter.com/dte_energy and facebook.com/dteenergy.
SOURCE DTE Energy