EPD prepares to fine GIW Industries again

 

ATLANTA — For the second time in eight months, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division is preparing to fine GIW Industries of Grovetown for not submitting paperwork required by its air-emissions permit.

Wednesday is the final day for the public to submit comments before the agency levies a $8,000 fine.

The company was about a month late in submitting its application to renew its five-year permit to operate a factory that emits smoke and soot.

The permit spells out limits on what is allowed and dictates how often the company must conduct tests to assure emissions are within those limits.

The company was fined $3,000 in November for not conducting the tests.

Five years ago, the company received a pair of fines totaling $12,000 for similar lapses, according to EPD records. At that time, the company consented to the
fine and agreed to comply in the future.

GIW’s permit requires it to hire a qualified testing outfit to evaluate the opacity of its emissions, essentially judging how dark the plume of smoke is from its chimney.

The test is required every six months, with a different test every five years of the amount of particles in the smoke.

“Basically, it came down to they didn’t have records. They claimed it was conducted, but if they don’t have records, we can’t accept it,” said Sean Taylor, a chemical and mineral manager in EPD’s air quality control unit.

Taylor said he had no reason to believe the GIW plant was discharging more than the allowed emissions.

“We don’t have a test report, so we don’t know,” he said.

The company, formerly known as Georgia Iron Works, makes large pumps for the mining and chemical industries and has another factory in Thomson. It is a subsidiary of KSB AG of Germany.

Messages left with three managers seeking a comment were not immediately returned.

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