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DER APPROVES RE-OPENING OF MILL SERVICE; SETS TOUGH NEW CONDITIONS FOR OPERATION OF THE FACILITY

 DER APPROVES RE-OPENING OF MILL SERVICE;
 SETS TOUGH NEW CONDITIONS FOR OPERATION OF THE FACILITY
 HARRISBURG, Pa., March 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The Department of Environmental Resources (DER) today allowed Mill Service Inc. to reopen its industrial waste facility in Yukon, Westmoreland County, but set forth several critical steps that the company must take to improve the way it operates the disposal site.
 "DER believes that the changes required under the new permit conditions will result in a more environmentally sound operation," said DER Deputy Secretary Gregg Robertson.
 The facility was closed by DER in November after it found that about 15,000 gallons of treated pickle liquor in the facility's Impoundment Number Six tested positive for excessive levels of chromium, a hazardous heavy metal.
 Pickle liquor is a by-product of the steel-making industry.
 Mill Service's state permit did not allow the disposal of hazardous wastes in the impoundment.
 "The company complied with the terms of the November shutdown order by providing the department with detailed reports on the company's failure to detect the excessive levels of chromium prior to the disposal and rendering the materials in the impoundment non-hazardous," Robertson said.
 DER's review of the company's reports showed that the testing procedure in place last fall did not detect the presence of the hazardous waste before it entered the impoundment.
 "DER is now requiring Mill Service to change the testing procedure so that no improperly treated waste can enter the impoundment," Robertson said.
 DER also reviewed the company's compliance history and found that Mill Service is capable of complying with environmental laws and that it did not purposely disregard the laws.
 "Mill Service's environmental history was extensively evaluated based on independent DER investigations," Robertson said. "We've concluded the incident was not willful and caused no harm to human health and the environment."
 A major condition of the new permit requires Mill Service to institute a new waste dewatering plan and change its testing procedures for lime stabilized pickle liquor.
 The facility may accept spent pickle liquor, but it must be treated and rendered non-hazardous before being disposed in Impoundment Number Six.
 Robertson said the new permit authorizes Mill Service to construct a facility to remove excess water from the treated wastes so that eventually only non-liquid waste will be disposed in Impoundment Number Six.
 The company also posted an additional bond of $113,884 to cover the increased cost of the Impoundment Number Six closure and the maintenance of the new facilities to remove excess water.
 Other permit conditions require Mill Service to:
 -- Conduct an internal historical environmental audit and semi-annual follow-up audits that must be performed by a DER-approved independent firm.
 -- Use infomation obtained from the audits to ensure that the facility is complying with all aspects of state and federal laws and regulations. Company officials will be held accountable for compliance with the regulations.
 -- Develop a community outreach program to improve communications with local elected officials, citizen groups and the general public.
 The company will pay a $31,000 civil penalty for the environmental violations related to Impoundment Number Six.
 Mill Service's Yukon facility was permitted by DER in 1986. Impoundment Number Six began accepting industrial wastes in 1988, including wastewater treatment sludges, dusts from industrial air pollution control devices, and neutralized pickle liquor from steel and glass industries.
 -0- 3/3/92
 /CONTACT: Betsy Mallison of DER, in Pittsburgh, 412-442-4000/ CO: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources; Mill
 Service Inc. ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:


DM -- PG010 -- 4712 03/03/92 17:47 EST
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Date:Mar 3, 1992
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