Chemical company agrees to cut toxic emissions

November 09, 1990

A Baltimore chemical company agreed to reduce the amount of toxic sulfuric acid it emits into the air, the state Department of the Environment announced yesterday.

SCM chemicals signed a consent order to cut its emissions of the acid -- which can sting the eyes and throat -- by 50 percent by 1992.

SCM makes titanium dioxide, a key ingredient in white paint and dyes. In purifying the titanium, the company had been spewing 40 tons of the acid into the air a year from stacks at its Hawkins Point plant in Baltimore, the state said.

The agreement will put the company in compliance with the state's new air pollution regulations, which went into effect July 1, said Martin W. Walsh Jr., state environmental secretary. He said industrial emissions are one of the primary sources of air pollution in the state, and several recent consent orders will reduce air pollution by 4.5 million pounds a year, once companies install the necessary equipment.

Louis Kistner, an SCM spokesman, said the company anticipated no problems with meeting the terms of the order. "We've committed $500,000 already in a pilot plant to test the control technology," he said.

He said the firm will spend $5.1 million more to add a state-of-the-art air scrubber to control emissions. Construction will start in February and is to be completed in a year. The new scrubber should also reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide and particulates, he said.

The consent order, which has some regulatory force, is the eighth such agreement negotiated by the department this year. Six of the companies have been located in the highly industrial South Baltimore areas.

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