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Biggest Superfund Penalty in EPA History Announced

Posted on 5/4/2016 by Roger Marks

On May 3, the US EPA and US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a nearly $7 million fine for a company that allegedly violated the terms of a 2002 Superfund consent decree.
As part of the 2002 decree, the company was required to clean up the Rodale Manufacturing Superfund Site in Emmaus, Pennsylvania. The decree required the company to pump and treat groundwater, monitor groundwater quality, and operate air pollution controls to prevent emissions during cleanup.

Dating back to 2008, EPA and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) says, the company was not operating the air pollution controls as required by the decree. The settlement requires the company to pay $6,868,975, ten percent of which will go to the PA DEP, for alleged violations that include:
  • Failure to maintain air pollution control equipment
  • Failure to collect and treat hazardous air pollutants like trichloroethylene and VOCs
  • Failure to alert EPA and PA DEP of malfunctioning air pollution control equipment
  • Failure to comply with PA air pollution regulations
  • Failure to provide records to enforcement personnel
Read the full EPA press release here.

HAZWOPER EPA Superfund site
Added to the EPA’s National Priority List (NPL), a.k.a. Superfund List, in 1991, the site was first owned by the Rodale Manufacturing Company. Rodale manufactured electronics components at the site as far back as the 1930s—performing activities like electroplating, vapor degreasing, and metal shaping. The site changed hands twice since then, first to the Square D company in 1975, and then to the current owners, who now find themselves on the hook for the nearly $7 million penalty. 

See how a site gets on the EPA’s Superfund List here.

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Tags: CERCLA, EPA, hazardous waste,, HAZWOPER, Superfund

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