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In re Leed Foundry, Inc.

04/24/2007

ELR Citation:37 ELR 47885

An administrative law judge (ALJ) issued a preliminary order rejecting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) complaint against the operator of a gray iron foundry in St. Clair, Pennsylvania, for violation the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). EPA alleged 13 violations under RCRA regarding the use of a cupola (a type of furnace) that emanates fly ash waste at the foundry. The Bevill amendment exempts certain wastes from RCRA, including fly ash waste generated primarily from the combustion of coal or other fossil fuels. The operator's expert witnesses concluded that majority of the fly ash material was generated from coke—a fossil fuel. Conversely, EPA's expert witness claimed that 62 percent of the baghouse dust from the foundry was something other than fly ash. This witness, however, had "never been to the [operator's] facility and consequently has never seen its cupola in operation, nor has he ever seen the emission controls in operation, or inspected the coke used there." Further, the EPA expert witness' testimony was of no value because his calculations and conclusions were incorrect. The ALJ, therefore, preliminarily concluded that the Bevill Amendment applies. The ALJ will issue a final order after it hears necessary expert testimony on the matter.