Issue 17: June 10, 2020

TCEQ Finds ASARCO in Violation of Air Permit after Investigating Emissions Complaint in Amarillo 

Last month, our Solidarity News brought to light the story of how ASARCO has exposed the Amarillo community to unnecessary health risks when union members reported seeing dark, visible emissions at the rod furnace stack from the picket line. 

The union made an official complaint against ASARCO to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. 

The agency investigated our allegations, and TCEQ has now issued a notice of three violations to ASARCO for discharging more contamination than its permit allows. 

As a result, ASARCO was required to implement a corrective action plan to ensure compliance and submit that plan to TCEQ Region 1 by today, June 10, 2020. 

Visible emissions is a term that refers to air pollutants in sufficient amount to be observable to the human eye. 

According to the investigation report, when TCEQ investigators arrived at the facility to investigate our complaint they also observed visible emissions coming from the Rod Line Furnace stack. 

The amount of visible emissions released is measured by conducting a Method-9 visual observation test that measures how much light is blocked by the visible emissions. 

It was determined that the sites Rod’s Furnace Stack had exceeded 20 percent opacity, a violation the site’s Air Operating Permit. 

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