Geneva Steel is trying to raise employees' awareness of air quality by posting daily pollution readings at entrances to the plant.
If employees at the mill are aware when pollution levels are high, they may be more conscientious on the job as well as at home. At least, that's what Geneva Steel officials hope."One of the most valuable tools in lowering air-quality levels is to educate people," said Mitch Haws, manager of public relations for Geneva.
Geneva officials believe the plant's 2,800 employees can make a difference in achieving cleaner air, Haws said.
"In serious situations, of course, we would encourage them (employees) not to burn wood stoves," said Jim Starley, chief environmental engineer. "We hope that by having more understanding of what's taking place they can alter their lifestyles and help the situation."
In addition to driving less and not using wood-burning stoves, there are actually a few things plant workers can do to reduce emissions at the plant on high pollution days, Starley said. Employees can avoid making mistakes during steel production, not unloading coal and handling raw material in such a way as to reduce fugitive emissions.
However, the reductions that can be achieved through these means are minimal, Starley said. The company is primarily hoping to influence employees' lifestyles.
Since December, the company has posted fine particulate (PM10) and carbon monoxide readings from the previous day on large message boards at six plant entrances. The readings are from the air-quality monitor in Lindon and the downtown monitor in Provo.
Monday's readings posted at Geneva Tuesday were 120 micrograms for PM10, just below the standard of 150 micrograms, and 6 parts per million for carbon monoxide, just under the standard of 9 parts per million.
The boards also list a plant number employees can call for more information about pollution. So far, about 20 people have called the public relations office with general questions about air quality, Haws said.