Steel foundry McConway and Torley LLC reached an agreement with a local environmental group that will address the group’s concerns and allow the plant to reactivate its electric arc furnace. The agreement also clears McConway and Torley to proceed with a planned plant modernization, simultaneously providing more manufacturing jobs and improved air quality.
McConway and Torley produces railroad couplers, yokes, knuckles, locks, and many other products for the rail industry, at foundries in Kutztown and Lawrenceville, PA. It was awarded an Allegheny County Health Dept. air permit in January, allowing it to restart the Lawrenceville foundry, but the Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP) appealed the permit and raised concerns about M&T’s potential emissions.
GASP is a Pittsburgh-area environmental nonprofit organization that addresses air-quality issues in southwestern Pennsylvania.
The foundry and GASP agreed that M&T would adopt supplemental emission controls in excess of what is required by the EPA or ACHD, including a more effective fume-collection hood on the furnace and membrane fabric filters on the baghouses. These measures are expected to reduce particulate and heavy metal emissions.
“This agreement once again disproves the notion that a healthy environment and a healthy economy are incompatible,” GASP executive director Rachel Filippini stated.