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Details of Regulatory Actions

Reportable releases in the past 12 months

April 2018 – Mineral Wells, TX – While our supplier was delivering a load of calcium carbonate, the storage silo was overfilled and approximately 500 pounds of material blew out of the silo and onto the ground.  A combination of plant personnel and outside cleanup services cleaned up the release.  Plant personnel are researching alternatives to prevent future incidents.  Although the release did not trigger any regulatory reporting requirements, the City of Mineral Wells issued a notice of violation with no monetary penalty.    

December 2017 – Carrollton, GA – Due to an electrical fault, a pump associated with the groundwater collection system at the closed copper refinery failed, and approximately 7,200 gallons of groundwater were accidentally discharged to Buffalo Creek.  The defective pump has been replaced, and backup equipment has been ordered to stock in case of future failures.  No regulatory reportable quantity (RQ) was exceeded; however, the release was reported to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division as a conservative measure.  No further action is expected.

December 2017 – Starkville, MS – The cooling tower that services the facility’s drawing and stranding department had a section of pipe freeze and rupture, which released approximately 4,000 gal of non-contact water to an unnamed tributary to Glen Creek.  The damaged pipe was replaced, and there were no negative impacts observed in the drainage way.  The appropriate state and local agencies were notified.  No further action is expected.

December 2017 – Carrollton, GA – The level control device on the Building Wire Plant process water pond failed which caused the pond to overflow, and <50 gallons of process cooling water were accidentally discharged to Buffalo Creek.  The defective level control device will be replaced with a more advanced system with redundancies.  No impact to the creek was observed. The release was reported to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.

December 2017 – Carrollton, GA – While a plasticizer tank was being filled at the Plastics Blending Plant, the cap on the observation port was dislodged causing material to “splash out” of the tank and outside of the primary containment area.  The material was captured by the secondary containment system; however, a pump mechanical failure caused the lift station to overflow and <25 gallons of plasticizer were released to Buffalo Creek.  Southwire is investigating overflow protection alternatives to minimize future “splashing” and ensure any “splash out” will be contained within the primary containment area.  Additionally, the defective pump will be replaced.  No impact to the creek was observed.  This incident was reported to the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.

October 2017 – Houston TX- Sumner Houston was issued a Notice of Violation by the Harris County Pollution Services department related to a sanitary sewer discharge event. The facility has multiple sewer discharge lines. Facility personnel were unaware of a private line that discharges to the rear of the property into the county main. The cleanout caps to this line were in disrepair and left open. Water accumulation in the County Main resulted in backflow up the Sumner line. Due to the disrepair of the cleanouts discharge occurred out of the open caps. Approximately 50- 100 gallons of sanitary sewer was discharged. Remediation of the affected areas was conducted immediately, and a plumber was contracted to address the broken clean out caps.  Weekly inspections have been started to ensure no discharges have occurred or occurring.

October 2017 – Starkville, MS – A water pipe failed, causing the release of approximately 4,600 gallons of process cooling water to an unnamed tributary of Glen Creek.  The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and Oktibbeha County Emergency Management were contacted, and representatives were dispatched to the site.  The water showed no evidence of contaminants, and minimal impact to the creek is expected.  Southwire replaced the leaking pipe and inspected all associated piping and valves to evaluate the integrity of the process cooling system.  Components will be replaced as necessary.  No further action is expected.

 


 

Letters of Noncompliance (LON), Notices of Violation (NOV), etc. in the past 12 months

April 16, 2018 – The El Paso Plant received a Notice of Violation (NOV) from the El Paso Water Authority for total dissolved solids (TDS) concentrations in excess of the facility’s sewer discharge limit.  The NOV contained a monetary penalty of $100.  Plant personnel determined that a faulty valve was causing an increase in salt used in the facility’s water softener system, which resulted in an increase in TDS.  The facility has corrected this issue. 

March 2018 – Southwire El Paso plant received a Notice of Violation (NOV) from the El Paso Water Authority for copper discharges in the sanitary sewer in excess of their permit limit.  The NOV contained a monetary penalty of $100.  The plant has been investigating the possible causes of the exceedances and will implement corrections to prevent any future non-compliances.

October 2017 – Houston, TX – Sumner Houston was issued a Notice of Violation by the Harris County Pollution Services department.  Details are provided above under the “Reportable Releases” section.

September 2017 – Carrollton, GA – Southwire was issued a Notice of Violation by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division related to two air permit deviations.  First, a temperature monitoring system was out of service for 5.75% of the operating time during the reporting period, which exceeded the 5% acceptable threshold.  The monitoring system has been replaced with redundant backups to prevent a recurrence of this deviation.  Second, an electrical failure triggered the startup of an emergency generator, and the unit was allowed to operate in excess of the 100 hour annual limit.  The electrical issue has corrected, and new procedures have been implemented to prevent excessive engine run time in the future.  The impact to the environment was minimal in both cases, and no monetary penalty was issued