S.H. Bell Agrees to Reduce, Monitor Manganese Emissions

EAST L IVERPOOL, Ohio —  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice this week reached a final consent decree with S.H. Bell Co. that requires the business to monitor and take measures to reduce manganese emissions from its 92-acre raw products storage and material handling facility here that spans the Pennsylvania-Ohio border.

S.H. Bell handles, stores, processes and packages metals, minerals and semi-finished industrial materials for industry. In addition to its terminals here and across the Ohio River in Newell, W.Va., the company operates two terminals in the Chicago area and two in Baltimore. The company was founded in 1933 and is based in Pittsburgh.

Manganese is a naturally occurring element found in many soils, rocks and foods and is used in the production of steel and other industrial processes. Manganese can be toxic when inhaled by humans at elevated exposure levels leading to neurological and neuropsychological damage.

Under the consent decree governing operations here, S.H. Bell is required to take measures to provide both immediate and long-term reductions in fugitive manganese emissions. The company has been performing these measures since January 2017 when the consent decree was lodged in federal court.

These safeguards include:

  • Fugitive dust control measures (such as rolling doors, and a baghouse with monitoring/recording systems);
  • A tracking system for manganese materials;
  • Video recordings of certain facility operations to help the company and regulators determine the source of manganese emissions detected in the future;
  • Fence line monitoring with EPA-approved monitors;
  • Required steps to investigate and, if needed, take corrective action if emissions exceed specified trigger levels.

The consent decree requires S.H. Bell to collect air monitoring data from three fence line locations surrounding the facility and take specific actions if its monthly or annual ambient air manganese concentrations exceed certain action levels.

Fence line monitoring locations. Graphic provided by EPA.

The EPA website contains the air monitoring data collected at S.H. Bell’s fence line from Aug. 20, 2017 forward as well as reports relating to any incidents reports.

The consent decree is based on the government’s authority under the Clean Air Act and the Superfund law. The federal action builds upon steps previously taken by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

For more information about S.H. Bell in East Liverpool and the EPA monitoring program, CLICK HERE.

SOURCE: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Pictured at top: S.H. Bell terminal in East Liverpool.

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