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Determining Compliance: Alton Coal Development, LLC

Air Quality inspectors will periodically make unannounced visits to the Alton Coal site. In addition, Alton will be required to file regular reports with DAQ.

The air monitoring and quality assurance procedures Alton Coal is required to perform are based on guidelines detailed in Federal Regulations. On a quarterly basis, Alton is to report results to DAQ. The guidelines to be followed are very specific and very familiar to the DAQ scientists who will be reviewing each report to assure compliance. This review will also evaluate:

  • the monitored PM10 emissions to make sure the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) are not exceeded;
  • for completeness, to ensure the monitoring network is operating at all times and is collecting valid data. For any period of time for which information is missing, Alton must justify why the monitoring network was not operating (machine calibration, power outage, etc.).
  • The monitor calibration data to make sure the data received and reviewed has been accurately measured.

If discrepancies are found, the company will be sent a compliance action to resolve the issue. Warning letters are typically sent when DAQ documents minor instances of non compliance that the company has already returned to compliance or can immediately return to compliance. An example may be a report was submitted a day or two late or a monitor was not calibrated on time.

More severe discrepancies are handled through a compliance action notice. Any compliance action notice would also require the company to immediately return to compliance and may require the company to pay a penalty in addition to fixing the problem. An example would be failing to submit a report or if DAQ is unable to determine compliance due to missing data or uncalibrated equipment.  Penalties can range from $300 – $10,000 per day per violation.