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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Michigan

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Metal Dynamics Agrees To Settlement WithUnited States To Reduce Pollution

A Detroit scrap metal and iron recycling company has agreed to pay a $110,000 penalty and invest $400,000 to resolve allegations that it violated the Clean Air Act, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today.

Joining McQuade in the announcement was Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5 Administrator, Susan Hedman.

The settlement resolves a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Environmental Protection Agency against Metal Dynamics alleging that its facility on Lonyo Avenue in Detroit was releasing harmful chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) into the environment.  CFCs cause ozone depletion and have harmful effects on human health. 

Under the settlement, Metal Dynamics agreed to implement a Clean Air Act compliance program at its facility to eliminate the harmful release of CFCs.  Metal Dynamics also agreed to modify its torch cutting of metals to keep harmful particulate emissions at or below legal limits.

The settlement requires Metal Dynamics to pay a civil penalty of $110,000 and spend at least $400,000 on two environmental projects to help mitigate the harmful effects of air pollution.  First, the company will provide education and economic incentives to scrap metal suppliers to prevent unlawful venting of harmful gases.  Second, the company will purchase a portable control device to recapture particulate matter during torch cutting operations.

“This settlement will protect the health of Detroit residents and ensure cleaner air for future generations,” McQuade said.  “We applaud Metal Dynamics for agreeing to invest in programs that will improve air quality in Detroit.”

“This settlement will help to preserve the ozone layer, which protects us from harmful radiation,” EPA Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman said.  “Metal Dynamics will also take steps to improve air quality in a community that has been disproportionately impacted by environmental contamination.”

Metal Dynamics did not admit any of the violations alleged by the government, but agreed to the compliance provisions, and to invest in the two innovative environmental projects.

The settlement was lodged with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and will be subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.  It can be viewed at: http://www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html and will appear in the Federal Register.  Comments can be directed to Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, with reference to United States v. Metal Dynamics Detroit, LLC, D. J. Ref. No. 90-5-2-1-10192.
Updated March 19, 2015