Barkeyville Borough, 5404 Pittsburgh Road, Harrisville, Pennsylvania 16038 - Ph: 814-786-7280
Environmental Pollution and Asphalt
1/28/2008 - CONTACT: Daniel T. Spadoni; Phone: (570) 327-3659
Numerous Violations Documented at Company’s Centre County Asphalt Plant and Quarry
WILLIAMSPORT – The Department of Environmental Protection has fined Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc. $61,850 for numerous air quality violations during the past two years at its asphalt plant and quarry in Spring Township, Centre County.
“DEP expects to see much better compliance in the future by Hawbaker with state air quality laws and regulations,” said DEP Northcentral Regional Director Robert Yowell. “The company knows it can do a better job in this area.”
DEP’s air quality program inspectors documented numerous violations, including: two portable stone crushers that were built and operated without authorization for three months in the summer of 2006; fugitive dust emissions on the main haul road; failing to notify DEP that construction was complete on an air contamination sources under plan approval; failing to notify DEP of air pollution control equipment malfunctions that resulted in visible emissions; and operating an air pollution control device that was not working properly and needed repairs.
Hawbaker has corrected all of the violations listed in the civil penalty agreement, and has paid the fine.
For more information on air quality regulations, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us, keyword: Air Regulations
the PA Code, Title
25, Environmental Protection , 121.1,
The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states "asphalt processing and asphalt roofing manufacturing facilities are major sources of hazardous air pollutants such as formaldehyde, hexane, phenol, polycyclic organic matter, and toluene. Exposure to these air toxics may cause cancer, central nervous system problems, liver damage, respiratory problems and skin irritation” [EPA]. According to one health agency, asphalt fumes contain substances known to cause cancer, can cause coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath, severe irritation of the skin, headaches, dizziness, and nausea [NJDHSS]. Animal studies show PAHs affect reproduction, cause birth defects and are harmful to the immune system [NJDHSS]. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has determined that PAHs may be carcinogenic to humans [DHHS].
PA AIR POLLUTION
CONTROL ACT Act
of 1959, P.L. 2119, No.787 (2 amended July 9, 1992, P.L.460,
The research was conducted by Dr. Richard Weisler, professor of psychiatry at UNC-Chapel Hill's medical school and Duke University Medical Center and a volunteer with the nonprofit Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League. His collaborators were Duke professor of psychiatry Dr. Jonathan Davidson, BREDL toxicologist Dr. Lynn Crosby, BREDL Director Lou Zeller, Clean Water for North Carolina Director Hope Taylor-Guevara, Executive Director Sheila Singleton of the N.C. Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, and Melissa Fiffer and Stacy Tsougas, BREDL interns and undergraduates at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment.
“We do not know with scientific certainty that the area suicides are linked to hazardous chemical exposures, but we know enough to recommend that it is not worth taking any more chances on the potential association,” says Weisler, who presented his findings last month to the 17th Annual U.S. Psychiatric and Mental Health Congress in San Diego.
Eye, nose, and throat irritation; headaches, loss of coordination, nausea; damage to liver, kidney, and central nervous system. Some organics can cause cancer in animals; some are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans. Key signs or symptoms associated with exposure to VOCs include conjunctival irritation, nose and throat discomfort, headache, allergic skin reaction, dyspnea, declines in serum cholinesterase levels, nausea, emesis, epistaxis, fatigue, dizziness.
The ability of organic chemicals to cause health effects varies greatly from those that are highly toxic, to those with no known health effect. As with other pollutants, the extent and nature of the health effect will depend on many factors including level of exposure and length of time exposed. Eye and respiratory tract irritation, headaches, dizziness, visual disorders, and memory impairment are among the immediate symptoms that some people have experienced soon after exposure to some organics. At present, not much is known about what health effects occur from the levels of organics usually found in homes. Many organic compounds are known to cause cancer in animals; some are suspected of causing, or are known to cause, cancer in humans.
Hazardous air pollutants, also known as toxic air pollutants or air toxics, are those pollutants that cause or may cause cancer or other serious health effects, such as reproductive effects or birth defects, or adverse environmental and ecological effects. EPA is required to control 188 hazardous air pollutants. Examples of toxic air pollutants include benzene, which is found in gasoline; perchlorethlyene, which is emitted from some dry cleaning facilities; and methylene chloride, which is used as a solvent and paint stripper by a number of industries.
High concentrations of sulfur dioxide (SO2) can result in breathing problems with asthmatic children and adults who are active outdoors. Short-term exposure has been linked to wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. Other effects associated with longer-term exposure to sulfur dioxide, in conjunction with high levels of particulate soot, include respiratory illness, alterations in the lungs' defenses and aggravation of existing cardiovascular disease.
Environmental Effects: Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are the major precursors of acid rain, which has acidified soils, lakes and streams, accelerated corrosion of buildings and monuments, and reduced visibility. Sulfur dioxide also is a major precursor of fine particulate soot, which poses a significant health threat.
Sources: Combustion of fuel containing sulfur -- mostly coal and oil. Also produced during metal smelting and other industrial processes.
• Airborne particulate matter (PM) consists of many different substances suspended in air in the form of particles (solids or liquid droplets) that vary widely in size.
• The particle mix in most U.S. cities is dominated by fine particles (less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter) generated by combustion sources, with smaller amounts of coarse dust (between 2.5 and 10 micrometers in diameter). The fine particles resulting from the collapse of the World Trade Center (WTC) are largely due to the smoke from combustion of fuels and other combustible materials. The coarse dust in the WTC area is largely due to the removal of building debris and rubble.
• Particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter, that include both fine and coarse dust particles. These particles pose the greatest health concern because they can pass through the nose and throat and get into the lungs.
• Particles larger than 10 micrometers in diameter that are suspended in the air are referred to as total suspended particulates (TSP). These larger particles can cause irritation to the eyes, nose and throat in some people, but they are not likely to cause more serious problems since they do not get down into the lungs.
The smaller particles are lighter and they stay in the
air longer and travel farther. PM10 (big) particles can stay in the
air for minutes or hours while PM2.5 (small) particles can stay in
the air for days or weeks. And travel? PM10 particles can travel as
little as a hundred yards or as much as 30 miles. PM2.5 particles go
even farther; many hundreds of miles.
The photo below show "fugitive emissions" from the Kokosing Asphalt Plant in Ohio.
Health Effects of Dust and Smoke
• Dust and smoke may irritate healthy people's eyes, nose, throat, and lungs, and might cause more serious problems in sensitive populations.
• Because dust and smoke are mixtures of different chemicals with different sizes, not everyone will experience the same effects.
• Most healthy adults and children will recover quickly from short-term dust and smoke exposures and will not suffer long-term consequences.
• In general, the long-term risk from short-term exposures to dust and smoke is low.
• Certain sensitive populations, listed below, are susceptible to more serious symptoms, including cough, phlegm, wheezing, shortness of breath, bronchitis, increased asthma attacks, and aggravation of lung or heart disease. Exposure to fine particles (e.g. smoke) is of particular concern, and can be associated with several serious health effects. Some sensitive people might experience health problems after even short exposures to fine particles, such as several hours or a day.
- Individuals with asthma and other respiratory diseases. Levels of pollutants that might not affect healthy people might cause breathing difficulties for people with asthma or other chronic lung diseases, especially children. Individuals with emphysema and chronic bronchitis may also experience a worsening of their conditions because of exposure to dust and smoke. Studies have linked particulate matter pollution to increased risk of hospitalizations for respiratory disease, asthma attacks, and respiratory mortality.
- Individuals with cardiovascular disease. People with heart disease might also experience symptoms such as shortness of breath or chest tightness. Studies have also linked particulate pollution to increased risk of hospitalizations for cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and cardiovascular mortality.
- The elderly. The elderly are more likely to have pre-existing lung and heart diseases, and therefore are more susceptible to health effects from exposure to particle pollution.
- Children. Children, even those without pre-existing illness or chronic conditions, are susceptible to air pollution because their lungs are still developing, and they are often engaged in vigorous outdoor activities, making them more sensitive to pollution than healthy adults. Studies have shown that in children, particulate pollution is associated with increased episodes of coughing and difficulty breathing, and decreased lung function.
- Smokers. People who smoke, especially those who have smoked for many years, generally have reduced lung function and may be affected by dust and smoke exposure. Smokers are also less likely to recognize and report symptoms from exposure to irritant chemicals than nonsmokers.
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Barkeyville, Pennsylvania; Barkeyville Borough; Barkeyville Boro; Venango County; Irwin Township; Harrisville, Pennsylvania