GE's low-level release brings $3K fine
The state Department of Environmental Conservation fined General Electric $3,000 for a minor air contamination that occurred at the new battery plant in Schenectady last October.
During an Oct. 5 test, GE staff discovered that it had left its Sentry air unit control device unplugged during the start-up phase of production, according to documents obtained by the Daily Gazette. The result was a "very minimal" release of hydrogen chloride.
"Normally, this low level release would be exempt from permitting," said DEC Region 4 spokesman Rick Georgeson in an email. "However, because it was part of a large (Environmental Protection Agency) Title V air facility that was ramping up production, it was technically a violation not to have the emission control device in working order. When GE discovered the issue, they reported it to DEC."
Leaving the emission control device unplugged was a violation of environmental regulation. The penalty for this kind of violation ranges from $375 to $15,000 for each day a company is in violation, depending on the severity of an infraction.
GE agreed to the fine Jan. 29.
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