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Company will pay $310,000 penalty

CHICAGO (August 5, 2022) — Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Indiana Department of Environmental Management announced a settlement with Metalworking Lubricants Co. for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act at its used oil processing facility in Indianapolis. Under the terms of the settlement, the company will pay a penalty of $155,000 to the United States and $155,000 to the state of Indiana.

“This action demonstrates EPA’s commitment to protect public health against hazardous air pollution,” said Michael Harris, director of the Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division at EPA Region 5. “Companies that fail to take proper precautions or keep thorough records will be held accountable by EPA and our state partners.”

“This is good news for central Indiana, and the improvements required by this consent decree will result in cleaner air for the community,” said Indiana Department of Environmental Management Commissioner Brian Rockensuess. “Through our partnership with EPA, we were able to resolve these outstanding Clean Air Act violations.”

In the complaint, EPA and IDEM alleged that Metalworking Lubricants emitted more than 25 tons of hazardous air pollutants per year, including naphthalene, ethylbenzene, xylene, phenol, and toluene, in violation of its existing permit. The company also allegedly failed to operate its scrubber at specific times when its oil-processing tanks were in operation; failed to respond when the scrubber malfunctioned; failed to keep required records; and underestimated the amount of hazardous air pollutants in incoming oil, which affected its emissions. The company also allegedly failed to apply for a major source operating permit.

In addition to the penalty, Metalworking Lubricants will install a carbon adsorption system to control total organic compound and hazardous air pollutant emissions. The company will connect all oil and wastewater processing tanks to the system and scrubber. The system must recover more than 95% of the total organic compound emissions and emit no more than eight pounds per hour of sulfur dioxide. The company will also have to meet certain testing, monitoring and recordkeeping requirements and comply with a revised federally enforceable state operating permit to keep its emissions less than 25 tons per year.

The Indianapolis facility is located near a community with environmental justice concerns. EPA is committed to addressing the impacts to human health from pollution and other stressors, such as poverty and housing conditions. EPA works toward the goal of environmental justice, which is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.

The settlement terms are included in the proposed consent decree. The consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval. The government’s complaint and the consent decree are on the Department of Justice website.

Learn about EPA Region 5’s enforcement program.

Potential environmental violations may be reported on EPA’s Enforcement website.

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