The Washington Department of Ecology said on Friday, February 1st, it is fining Intalco Aluminum LLC $27,500 for exceeding emmissions allowed 11 different times in 2017 and 2018. Specifically, more fluoride and particulate matter was put into the air and surrounding environment according to Ecology.
In the announcement, officials said, “Ecology toxicologists analyzed Intalco’s excess fluoride and particulate emissions that caused these violations and found they did not represent a threat to human health.”
The pollution stemmed from disruption in Intalco’s manufacturing process, according to Ecology officials. “… as the facility trained new personnel to replace experienced staff members who left ahead of a planned shutdown in 2016, which was later cancelled.”
The announcement pointed out, “Releasing pollution above the limits in Intalco’s air quality permit impacts the environment and violates the law. In general, short-term exposure to fluoride in the air can cause irritation to nose, lungs, skin, and eyes. Particle pollution affects the airways and lungs. Children, the elderly, and those with chronic heart and lung disease (like asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema) are especially susceptible.”
The company can appeal the penalty according to Ecology.