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News Releases from Region 05

EPA Requires General Iron to Install Additional Air Pollution Controls

Contact Information: 
Joshua Singer (

CHICAGO (August 26, 2019) – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced an Administrative Consent Order (ACO) requiring General Iron Industries Inc. to install additional pollution controls to reduce air emissions at the company’s Chicago facility. The company has agreed to the Order, which will bring it into compliance with the Clean Air Act.

General Iron owns and operates a metal shredding and recycling operation at 1909 N. Clifton Ave. EPA issued a Notice of Violation (NOV) to the company in July 2018 due to excessive air emissions. EPA’s Order is in response to the violations alleged in the NOV and will help to protect the health and environment of the surrounding neighborhoods.

EPA’s Order requires General Iron to operate a pollution control device called a regenerative thermal oxidizer (RTO) to control volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from the shredder. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have harmful health effects. The company is also installing a wet scrubber and new emission stack. The RTO breaks down VOCs and other pollutants into carbon dioxide and water by heating them to very high temperatures. General Iron must ensure through testing that VOC emissions from its shredder are reduced by at least 98% from current levels. The company must also apply for a permit with the state detailing equipment operating conditions to ensure this continued high level of emissions reductions. General Iron is required to start operating the RTO within 60 days.

General Iron will be required to operate the RTO even if the company moves its facility to another location. The company may also face a fine for excessive air emissions prior to installing the new pollution controls.

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