Cleaning the air
Luck Stone initiative with EPA, others means cleaner, greener power at four plants.
By Tina Grady Barbaccia
Funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to Virginia Clean Cities and James Madison University will help launch the first construction repowering project in Virginia to reduce harmful diesel pollution at four Luck Stone plants operating in Richmond, Charlottesville, Leesburg, and Burkeville.
EPA’s $710,000 Diesel Emissions Reduction Act grant, combined with $1.1 million from Richmond, Va.-based Luck Stone, will enable the company to repower or replace 11 off-road construction vehicles with new, more efficient diesel engines and generators.
“Putting clean diesel engines to use will bring cleaner, healthier air for the workers and neighborhoods surrounding these plants,” said EPA mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “EPA is pleased to support Virginia Clean Cities’ newest initiative to improve air quality and public health for Virginia’s citizens.”
The company is “honored to be participating in the inaugural construction repower project for Virginia along with the EPA, James Madison University, Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality, and Virginia Clean Cities,” said Doug Palmore, Luck Stone’s vice president of environmental design and development. “This partnership lines up perfectly with our environmental ethic and practices which focus on creating a net positive outcome for the environment and communities we serve.”
The Luck Stone project is the first construction equipment repowering project in Virginia to be funded by EPA. The new engines will result in a 50-percent reduction in nitrogen oxides and 65-percent reduction in particulate matter for each piece of equipment. Annually, the project will eliminate 30.85 tons of nitrogen oxide, 2 tons of particulate matter, 11.93 tons of carbon monoxide, and 2.74 tons of hydrocarbons from being emitted at the four plants. In addition, the project will create about 20 jobs.
“The heavy trucks and equipment that are being repowered or replaced are not only striking in their size and capability, but are critical to Luck Stone’s ability to provide quality crushed stone,” said Virginia Clean Cities Executive Director Chelsea Jenkins. “Virginia Clean Cities and James Madison University are energized to participate in such a significant project that will aide in curbing the impact such equipment has on the environment and, ultimately, Virginia’s economy and the health of its citizens.”
For more information
EPA’s National Clean Diesel Campaign Web site:
EPA’s regional diesel Web site:
Luck Stone Corp. corporate Web site:
Virginia Clean Cities:
MSHA develops new mine screening standards
The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has begun developing new screening criteria for the pattern of violations (POV) enforcement program, which gives the agency additional enforcement tools to use at mines with a history of violating safety standards.
The agency says this is a critical first step in reforming the current POV enforcement program. MSHA announced plans to draft new regulations governing the program in the spring and the new criteria following calls by Congress and the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General to fix serious flaws in the current system. The agency has already been moving forward with the second phase in major reforms to its POV process, which includes tougher provisions for mines with chronic and persistent violations of significant health and safety regulations.
MSHA’s decision to develop the mine screening criteria coincides with the release of an independent analysis prepared by the Labor Department’s Office of Inspector General which noted: “In 32 years, MSHA has never successfully exercised its Pattern of Violation authority.”
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