Three businesses have paid a total of $24,000 in fines for polluting Utah County's air in 1990, and one company paid $7,500 for violating solid- and hazardous-waste regulations.

Geneva Steel paid the largest total amount in fines - $21,000 for two violations to the state Bureau of Air Quality. The company paid $14,000 for excessive emissions from the open hearth on Sept. 25, 1989.It also paid $7,000 for "blowing coal dust" that occurred May 18, 1990.

Beehive Insulation and Fabricating Inc. of Salt Lake City was fined for doing an asbestos removal job at La Roche Industries without proper certification and for improper work practices on April 23, 1990. The company paid $3,000 in fines.

An additional fine of $4,000 was deferred; the company will not have to pay that amount unless it again violates air-quality regulations. The deferred period typically lasts two years.

Triple A Specialties Inc. of American Fork also was fined $7,000 for improper work practices and cleanup of an asbestos abatement job on May 31, 1988. The entire penalty was deferred.

Cloward Construction of Provo paid $1,500 for work-practice violations during removal of asbestos on March 22, 1990, at the Kress Building in downtown Provo. An additional fine of $2,500 was deferred.

The Bureau of Air Quality collected $157,789 in fines during fiscal 1989-90 from Utah businesses that violated emission regulations. An additional $238,300 in penalties was deferred. The bureau gave businesses $697,674 in credits for installing pollution-control equipment.

"I think we are being more aggressive in the enforcement of air-quality rules," said Burnell Cordner, Bureau of Air Quality director. "We've got some very serious problems and we need to make sure people understand the rules and that there is some consequence for violating the rules."

Fines collected by the Bureau go to the state's general fund.

Only one firm paid a fine for violating solid- and hazardous-waste regulations in 1990. Ireco Inc. of Lehi paid $7,500 for not properly closing and labeling drums of hazardous substances, according to Dennis Downs, bureau director.