The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a settlement with Smith Foundry to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act at its iron foundry in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Within the next 12 months, the company will shut down its furnace and casting processes and convert to a metal finishing facility, which the EPA says will drastically reduce emissions. The foundry will also pay an $80,000 penalty. 

After an unannounced inspection in May 2023, the EPA alleged that Smith Foundry failed to properly operate its pollution control equipment and maintain required records. The EPA also alleged that the foundry exceeded particulate matter emission limits for its industrial process equipment and violated airborne particulate matter rules.

Under the terms of the settlement, Smith Foundry will:

  • Immediately shut down two of the foundry’s pouring and cooling lines.
  • Limit the total amount of liquid metal poured at the remaining lines to 2,884 tons before they are shut down.
  • Within the next 12 months, permanently shut down the furnace, all remaining pouring/cooling lines, all mullers, and the shakeout system.

Smith Foundry will also ensure its baghouses are properly monitored and operated, including installing continuous pressure drop monitors, recording equipment, and a bag leak detection system on the main baghouse for the facility’s finishing operations. The foundry will develop and implement an updated operations and maintenance plan.

“Shutting down the furnace and casting operations is a win for this community, which has been historically disenfranchised and overburdened by pollution,” says EPA Regional Administrator Debra Shore.

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Commissioner Katrina Kessler says they remain committed to ensuring clean air for all Minnesotans and working collaboratively with the EPA toward that goal.

“This settlement is an important step toward protecting the health and well-being of residents in the East Phillips community,” she says. “The MPCA remains invested in the community and will monitor, in partnership with the EPA, ongoing emissions from Smith Foundry and air quality in the East Phillips neighborhood to ensure compliance with state and federal laws. We will continue to engage with and communicate frequently with residents."

EPA has worked closely with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to improve air quality in the East Phillips community and ensure Smith Foundry’s compliance with the Clean Air Act. EPA will continue to work with MPCA to monitor the foundry and address other air quality concerns in Minneapolis.