CHEM WASTE, STATE OF ILLINOIS REACH AGREEMENTS ON INCINERATION FACILITIES
CHEM WASTE, STATE OF ILLINOIS REACH
AGREEMENTS ON INCINERATION FACILITIES
OAK BROOK, Ill., Dec. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Chemical Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE: CHW) and the State of Illinois today announced that they entered into two consent decrees that establish new operating requirements at the company's incineration facilities in Chicago and Sauget, Ill. The agreements resolve regulatory interpretations and alleged violations of operating permits at both facilities.
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency did not assert that either facility's operations posed any threat to health or the environment.
Chem Waste agreed to pay penalties of $1 million at Chicago and $1.9 million at Sauget without admitting or denying the alleged violations. In addition, the Sauget agreement calls for the company to establish a community environmental benefit program for the nearby East St. Louis, Ill. area valued at $1 million. Chem Waste will record a charge in the fourth quarter to reflect the agreed-upon payments. The impact of the charge will be to reduce by $.02 per share the company's anticipated results for the year.
The Chicago agreement implements additional environmental and monitoring safeguards at the incinerator sooner than would have been required by the permitting process.
The penalty was assessed for a delay in completing trial burns and for accepting containers of laboratory chemicals called "lab packs" that the state alleged were not properly identified by shippers. Chem Waste had not met the deadline for completing trial burns, which were part of a 150-day operability demonstration for the IEPA, because of delays required to order and install additional fire protection equipment mandated by an earlier consent decree. The company and the IEPA had already agreed to a schedule when a Cook County circuit court judge required the company to implement recommendations of a fire protection consultant before beginning the tests. The ordering and installation of that additional fire equipment resulted in delays which caused Chem Waste to be 36 days late in completing the trial burns.
The state also alleged that the contents of some lab pack containers received at Chicago were not properly identified in their shipping papers. The company is implementing a lab pack quality assurance program to ensure the correct documentation and packaging of all such materials.
Meanwhile, the IEPA has indicated that it will issue the Chicago incinerator an updated air operating permit which stipulates that operating conditions will be specified following completion of trial burns. Chem Waste said it hopes to complete another round of trial burns for the IEPA, and to have U.S. EPA's final trial burn results, by sometime next month.
In a related matter, Chemical Waste Management submitted on Nov. 15 a revised long-term Part B permit application for the Chicago facility that the company believes responds to all of the concerns raised by the IEPA over the past three years.
The Sauget agreement resolves a number of regulatory interpretations and alleged violations of the very detailed conditions of operating permits at that location, which includes four incinerators. Those permit conditions primarily involve the duration of carbon monoxide (CO) level measurements in the four incinerators and the number of times when those units automatically activate waste feed cut-off or thermal relief venting systems. The IEPA earlier this year began interpreting the permits as allowing the agency to assert a violation each time either system is triggered. Both the venting and cut-off systems are designed for safety purposes.
Since IEPA advised the company of its change in interpretation, Chem Waste has dramatically reduced the number of times these systems activate. The company said this was accomplished in part by better balancing the amount of heat released by each charge loaded into the incinerators.
The consent decree also includes operating conditions that limit the CO concentration that can be emitted and the period of time over which those emissions are to be measured. Those provisions are intended to define how the facility implements Illinois air regulations that were developed before the sophisticated continuous monitoring systems such as those used by Chem Waste were developed.
As part of the agreement, Chemical Waste Management will upgrade the computerized interface between its Sauget facility and the IEPA's offices and will provide for enhanced IEPA monitoring of the facility for one year.
/CONTACT: (analysts) Bruce Tobecksen, 708-218-1602; or (media), Joe Pokorny, 708-218-1689 (home 708-510-8267), both of Chemical Waste Management/
(CHW) CO: Chemical Waste Management Inc. ST: Illinois IN: CHM SU: SB -- NY009 -- 4716 12/23/91 09:03 EST