Rulings & Regulations: Two Caterpillar Plants Earn Awards

Dec. 18, 2005
Also, new EPA rule may accelerate brownfields development

Caterpillar Inc.’s Mossville, IL, Engine Center and its Cast Metals Organization in Mapleton, IL, have been presented pollution-prevention awards by the State of Illinois in recognition of the company’s on-going commitment “to sustain the environment and improve the health and safety of employees.” Both sites have been recognized in the 19th annual Governor’s Pollution Prevention Awards in the continuous-improvement category for large industry.

“These two awards represent actions taking place across Caterpillar’s business units as we seek to provide world-class products for our customers while also focusing on environmentally sustainable practices in our facilities,” said Ali Bahaj, Caterpillar vice president in charge of sustainable development initiatives and environmental, health, and safety performance.

The Mossville Engine Center was recognized for significantly improving first test acceptance (FTA) rates for the on-highway diesel engines manufactured there. By improving the number of engines that successfully pass on the first test, Caterpillar has decreased annual diesel fuel usage for testing by more than 93,000 gallons. The improved testing process also has decreased estimated annual emissions of nitrous oxide by 12 tons, and emissions of carbon monoxide by five tons.

The Mapleton iron foundry casts engine blocks, engine heads, and cylinder liners, which are finished with a process that includes steel shot-blasting. In a recent change, the spent shot is no longer remelted or landfilled, but instead is gathered and sent to a recycler for cleaning and sorting. More than 250 tons of shot are recycled per year.

New Rule Accelerates Brownfields Development

The All Appropriate Inquiries rule was announced at a November 2 Brownsfields Conference in Denver, CO by EPA administrator Stephen Johnson, establishing clear standards for environmental due diligence and encouragement of more urban development.

The rule is expected to increase private cleanups of “brownfield” properties while reducing urban sprawl, affecting more than 250,000 commercial real estate transactions nationally per year. The rule’s process for evaluating a property for potential environmental contamination and assessing potential liability for any contamination increases the certainty of Superfund liability protection, and will improve information about conditions of properties.

“President Bush and EPA are committed to putting both property and people back to work through our successful brownfields program,” said Johnson. “By making risk-management less of a guessing game and more of a science, we are expanding the number of problem properties that will be transformed back into community assets.”

Over the last ten years, the EPA’s Brownfields program has attracted over $7 billion in public and private investments for cleanup and redevelopment, creating over 33,000 jobs and assessing over 7,000 properties.

Briefly noted: The U.S. EPA cited a Wisconsin facility and two Ohio companies for clean-air violations: Remelt Services of Cleveland; GNW Aluminum of Alliance; and B&B Metals Processing Co. of Newton, WI. Remelt Services faces a $119,822 penalty, GNW faces $104,898, and B&B Metals $96,572.
The U.S. EPA cited Allcast Inc. for alleged violations of federal hazardous air-pollutant emission standards at the company’s secondary aluminum production facility in Allenton, WI. The company’s failure to perform testing on one of its furnaces for melting coated aluminum was cited as the problem.

OSHA extended the written comment period to January 11, 2006 for updating the standard for the construction of electric power transmission and distribution installations, making it consistent with the revised general industry standard. OSHA extended the comment period to grant interested parties more time for a thorough review and response to the proposal. The initial informal hearing will be held on March 6, 2006.
Robinson Industries has launched a new service program designed to keep industrial air-moving equipment and facilities up and run their Preventive Service Program. The scheduled maintenance plan that minimizes potential breakdowns and extends the operating life of equipment, allowing managers to arrange pre-scheduled service visits at convenient times. For more information, visit the Robinson website,
During Fiscal Year 2005, EPA enforcement actions resulted in the projected reduction of pollution by 1.1 billion pounds, costing companies, governments, and other regulatory entities $10 billion in compliance costs, an increase of $5 billion from 2004. Approximately 612,000 businesses and individuals received assistance from the EPA in FY 2105 to help understand their environmental responsibilities and comply with environmental laws.