GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCBD) – Century Aluminum said it has returned to stable, normal operations weeks after a malfunction in the plant’s baghouse caused alumina dust to be emitted in nearby neighborhoods.
A spokesperson for the Mt. Holly plant, Bob McAlister, told News 2 that Century has been “working around the clock” to address the issues that resulted in emissions of alumina from their plant back in September.
“We have been working in consultation with DHEC as we addressed the two issues that created this unique event,” he said. “With the help of nearly sixty of our internal personnel and external contractors and experts, we have completed both “descaling” our emissions system and replacing collector bags that capture alumina dust according to the schedule provided to DHEC. Taken together, this work has stabilized our emissions process, bringing us back into normal operations.”
During a town hall meeting last week, Century Aluminum plant manager Dennis Harbath said the plant went from just one employee working on the issue to 12 working around the clock after the issue was first discovered on Sept. 3.
Dust emissions escaped the plant again on Sept. 16 and Sept. 30. Residents in surrounding neighborhoods complained of a sandy, gritty, dust-like material that was found covering cars and outdoor objects. DHEC told News 2 that alumina dust was not considered hazardous.
The plant established a website and hotline for people to report their problems and to stay informed of the situation. Click here to submit your situation to Century Aluminum, or you can also call them at 312-696-3131.