If Geneva Steel doesn't come up with a plan for compliance with EPA's fine particulate standard by September, Provo Mayor Joe Jenkins says he will have to join the bandwagon to shut the plant down.
"I'm not willing to say we should keep jobs at the expense of the air, but I believe we can have clean air and good jobs too," he said. "I believe Geneva will clean up."Joe Cannon, Geneva Steel president, said, "We have the greatest desire to sit down with a state implementation plan that truly works. But before we control PM10, we have got to know where to aim our ammunition."
Geneva Steel hired John Cooper, a national PM10 expert, last summer to pinpoint the major contributors to PM10. Cooper is working as a consultant for the company and is sharing his data with the state Bureau of Air Quality.
The PM10 standard is violated when more than 150 particles smaller than a micron (a millionth of a meter) are counted in a cubic meter of air during one day. The fine particulates are a health concern because they reach the lungs.
The PM10 standard became effective July 1987. Since that time the state Bureau of Air Quality has worked on developing a state implementation plan that will be finalized and sent to the EPA in September.
Jenkins previously said Utah County residents need to be more patient and give Geneva some time to clean up and modernize. He still believes that but expects the plant to develop a plan for compliance with the PM10 standard by September.
Bruce Olsen, corporate communications consultant for Geneva, said, "There are major plans afoot here to meet whatever the state asks us to do. Some things have already been put into place. There is some waiting to see what we need to do next."
Robert Dalley, manager of the Bureau of Air Quality's planning section, said a draft of the state implementation plan will be sent to EPA by the end of June.
"As part of the plan we have to identify how much we need to reduce and then show that we can achieve that standard with a specific amount of reduction," he said.
Polluters will be placed on a compliance schedule to demonstrate that they can attain and maintain the PM10 standard, Dalley said. They will be required to install controls expeditiously but will have three years to order and install the controls needed to meet the standard.
Jim Starley, an environmental consultant for Geneva, said that time frame may be needed because once the pollution source is found, control equipment may have to be designed and built.
"As a state agency, it is not our intent to close anyone down," Dalley said. "In order to attain the standard we may have to limit emissions, require relocating or closure, but we never set out to close a facility."