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  • Springfield News-Leader

    Missouri battery maker EnerSys to pay $430K fee after EPA violations in Springfield

    By Tony Madden, Springfield News-Leader,

    2024-06-13
    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3GDniP_0tqU0B3a00

    The United Stated Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached a settlement with a Missouri battery manufacturer with facilities in Springfield after alleged violations of the federal Clean Air Act, according to an EPA press release.

    Missouri lead-acid battery manufacturer EnerSys Energy Products Inc., which owns the previous NorthStar facilities in Springfield, will pay a $430,500 civil penalty to resolve alleged violations of the federal Clean Air Act at the company's two Springfield facilities and one Warrensburg facility. The company will also spend an estimated $250,000 in compliance costs to resolve the alleged violations.

    The EPA alleges that the company's facilities emit lead, a hazardous air pollutant, as part of their manufacturing process. The company is a subsidiary of EnerSys In., the world's largest industrial battery manufacturer.

    "In addition to allegedly violating the Clean Air Act, EnerSys's Energy facilities are located in communities determined by EPA to be disproportionatelyt affected by pollution," said Jodi Bruno, acting director of EPA Region 7's Enforcment and Compliance Assurance Division. "This settlement represents the commitment by EPA and the Biden administration to protecting all communities, especially those overburdened by environmental harm."

    After reviewing submitted documents and conducting inspections at the Warrensburg and Springfield facilities in 2022 and 2023, the EPA found that EnerSys failed to report to EPA when the facilities' emission control equipment operated outside of the appropriate pressure range. When this happened, the company also failed to report what corrective actions the facilities took in response.

    "(T)hese reporting obligations exist to reduce the possibility of a severe failure of emission control equipment, which could result in excess lead emissions," the release says.

    The EPA also identified the community surrounding one of EnerSys Energy's Springfield facilities as a potentially sensitive area in terms of air toxicity, cancer risk, proximity to hazardous waste, and wastewater discharges. The other two facilities were also identified as being close to sources of pollution.

    The two EnerSys/Northstar facilities in Springfield are located in the east Partnership Industrial Center, near Interstate 44 and U.S. 65, and in Partnership Industrial Center-West, near West Division Street and I-44.

    "EPA is strengthening enforcement in such communities to address adverse human health or environmental effects of industrial operations or vulnerable populations," the release says.

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