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August 27, 2009

Court Orders $220,000 Environmental Penalty Against Matrix Metals of Keokuk

Company has made improvements to ensure compliance.

Keokuk, Iowa, August 27, 2009. Matrix Metals LLC has been ordered to pay a $220,000 civil penalty for air pollution violations at its steel casting manufacturing facility in Keokuk, Attorney General Tom Miller said Thursday.

Lee County District Court Judge William L. Dowell entered a Consent Decree Wednesday ordering the penalty and prohibiting any future violations by Matrix Metals. The judge’s order resolves a State lawsuit filed Monday. [Go to Consent Decree. Go to lawsuit.]

The lawsuit alleged air pollution violations, including excess emissions of particulate matter at the facility (fine dust), failure to properly conduct “stack testing,” failure to comply with the facility’s operating permit, and failure to comply with planning and record-keeping requirements for an iron and steel foundry. Matrix Metals agreed to the judge’s Order.

“We believe Matrix Metals now is fully in compliance,” Miller said. “There are no outstanding enforcement issues.”

Matrix Metals stated in the Consent Decree that it has “worked cooperatively” to address the violations “by taking several steps to attain compliance, installing a new environmental management team, and agreeing to make significant improvements to its environmental management process to ensure continued compliance.”

Background and Detail:

Matrix Metals LLC, does business as Keokuk Steel Castings Co. The facility at 3972 Main Street and 240 Royal Road in Keokuk produces steel castings by melting steel scrap and pouring the molten metal into sand molds for cooling. The facility includes over 20 air emission points constructed pursuant to permits issued by the Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR).

The facility’s air emissions are controlled in part by “baghouses” that contain numerous special bags that act as sieves and collect particulates. Bags are periodically cleared of particulates that are collected for disposal.

Matrix Metals paid a $15,000 civil penalty in 2004 for emission-limit violations and failure to “stack test” various emission points at their maximum rated capacity. Matrix agreed to pay the $220,000 penalty ordered Wednesday by Judge Dowell in part for similar violations.

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