Geneva Steel's contribution to air pollution along the Wasatch Front is much more than indicated in a summary report prepared by the state on air toxic releases during 1989.
Geneva officials contacted the Deseret News after reading a story about the report, saying the company should have been listed as one of the top 20 air polluters in the state."We knew we should have been on the list and called when we weren't," said Mitch Haws, Geneva's manager of public relations.
Geneva submitted a report on air toxics in July 1989 as required by the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act. In that report, Geneva listed its emissions of air toxics at 93,000 pounds during the year.
However, in November, Geneva submitted a revised report listing its emissions at 250,000 pounds for 1989. The revised report also readjusted the company's air emission listings for 1988 and 1987.
The new information came too late to be included in the state's report, according to Neal Taylor, emergency response manager for the Division of Environmental Health. Consequently, Geneva was not listed among the top 20 polluters in the state.
Based on the new report, Geneva is 10th out of the 20 top companies emitting air toxics along the Wasatch Front. Two other Utah County companies are among the top 20 emitters: LaRoche Industries Inc. at No. 8 with 296,201 pounds and Trojan Corp. at No. 18 with 140,000 pounds.
The bulk of Geneva's toxic air emissions is benzene, a known carcinogen. Geneva emits 90,000 pounds of benzene annually.
Other components of its toxic emissions: methethylene, 61,000 pounds; napthalene, 39,000 pounds; ethylene, 18,000 pounds; xylene, 9,000 pounds; and toluene, 5,000 pounds.
Geneva's first report on air toxics was estimated, while the second report is based on actual monitoring the company conducted in preparation for installing a gas-blanketing system at the plant to control benzene emissions.
The gas-blanketing system, which will begin operating in September, will decrease benzene emissions 40 percent, according to Jim Starley, Geneva's chief engineer for environment.