South Coast AQMD Reaches $600,000 Settlement with Lead-Acid Battery Recycling Facility for Emissions Violations

DIAMOND BAR – Today, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD) announced a recent settlement with Quemetco, Inc., for reporting and emissions violations at its facility located in the City of Industry. Under the agreement, the company is required to pay a $600,000 penalty.

“Battery recycling facilities must comply with our rules to prevent the release of potentially harmful levels of emissions,” said Jill Whynot, South Coast AQMD’s Chief Operating Officer. “Compliance with these regulations is imperative to improve air quality and protect public health.”

Quemetco operates a lead-acid battery recycling facility. Inspections and testing conducted between 2017 and 2019 identified violations of federal requirements, as well as violations of South Coast AQMD Rule 1420.1. Rule 1420.1 sets stringent emissions limits for lead, arsenic, benzene, and 1,3 butadiene, as well as housekeeping, ambient air monitoring, and exhaust stack emissions testing for battery recycling facilities.

The violations included not minimizing dust emissions; reporting requirements; emissions of lead, arsenic, and 1,3 butadiene that exceeded rule limits; and not maintaining negative pressure in the building enclosure.  Due to the arsenic and lead emissions-related violations, Quemetco was ordered to temporarily reduce operations at its facility as required by Rule 1420.1.

For more information on South Coast AQMD Rule 1420.1, please visit: http://www.aqmd.gov/docs/default-source/rule-book/reg-xiv/rule-1420-1.pdf

South Coast AQMD is the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties, including the Coachella Valley. For news, air quality alerts, event updates and more, please visit us at http://www.aqmd.gov, download our award-winning app, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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