July 26, 2008
Pollution monitors installed near Claymont Steel plant
install two new pollution monitors near Claymont Steel on Friday, part
of an independent check on soot and metal particle emissions from the
Larson, executive director of California-based Global Community
Monitoring, said the two portable systems would operate at various
spots around the 92-year-old factory along Philadelphia Pike between
I-495 and Naamans Road.
company agreed to finance community monitoring efforts after state
regulators cracked down on plant emissions in 2007. Residents have
complained for years that dust from the plant was scratching
automobiles, creeping into homes and threatening health.
resident Dee Whilden said releases from the plant remained a problem
this month. Laboratory checks have shown that materials collected from
affected properties contain most of the metals handled at the slab
steelmaker's operation, Larson said.
regulators learned in recent years that the plant was among the
nation's largest sources of airborne mercury pollution. The mercury was
traced to switches in scrapped vehicles from states without good
controls on removal and recycling of the devices.
steelmaker Evraz Group SA, based in Russia, purchased the plant for
$564.8 million last year. It previously was owned by an American
investors' group and by an investment agency of the Chinese government,
which purchased the plant in 1988 after a French company filed for
bankruptcy and closed the operation.