Printer Friendly

U.S. GOVERNMENT FILES TWO SUITS AGAINST TWO COMPANIES OWNED BY THE FRANK FAMILY FOR ENVIRONMENTAL VIOLATIONS

 U.S. GOVERNMENT FILES TWO SUITS AGAINST TWO COMPANIES OWNED
 BY THE FRANK FAMILY FOR ENVIRONMENTAL VIOLATIONS
 NEW YORK, Jan. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has filed two suits in federal court in New Jersey: one against the Standard Tank Cleaning Corporation (STCC) of Bayonne, N.J., and the other against First Marine Shipyard (First Marine), of Staten Island, N.Y., it was announced today by the EPA.
 The STCC suit charges that STCC illegally stored 750,000 gallons of hazardous waste on a barge in the Kill Van Kull, took inadequate steps to prevent spills of oil into the Kill Van Kull and stored and burned oil with an excessive sulfur content in steam-producing boilers. The First Marine suit alleges that no spill prevention plan existed at the facility. The companies are subject to fines of up to $25,000 per day per violation.
 "Standard Tank and its related 'Frank Family' companies are among the most persistent environmental violators in the New York City area and perhaps in the entire region," said Constantine Sidamon-Eristoff, EPA's Region 2 administrator. "They have consistently thumbed their noses at environmental and other regulations, both recently and in the past."
 "This case exemplifies EPA's continuing effort to take enforcement action under more than one environmental statute to improve the environment," said Herbert H. Tate Jr., EPA's assistant administrator for enforcement. "EPA is committed to vigorous enforcement action to assure compliance with our environmental laws."
 Both companies are owned and operated by the Frank family interests, including Peter Frank, Susan Frank-Stammel and Jane Frank Kresch. STCC is engaged in the business of cleaning tanks and barges. First Marine is an operating shipyard and industrial services company.
 In 1989, in response to an enforcement action against it, an EPA administrative law judge found that STCC had failed to obtain liability insurance for its Bayonne hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facility, as required by federal regulations. The judge imposed a penalty of $145,313. The judge ruled that the company's conduct "displayed deliberate neglect, indifference, or both. It is a luminous example of lack of good faith." The company appealed the decision to the EPA administrator; the appeal was rejected, and the judge's decision upheld, in July 1991.
 In September 1990 a barge owned by the Frank family, illegally containing oil, sank in New York Harbor. The ship did not have a U.S. Coast Guard permit to carry oil products. STCC was under a previous order not to store any substances on the barge. In the course of investigating the incident, the agency discovered two other barges that also illegally contained oil, and further discovered that the oil was contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) on one of the barges, the Nathan Berman.
 Given a history of significant non-compliance with federal and state regulations, the EPA conducted a complete environmental audit of the main Frank family facilities between October 1990 and March 1991.
 According to today's suit, STCC unlawfully stored approximately 750,000 gallons of corrosive hazardous waste in one barge at its facility in Bayonne, N.J. Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), hazardous waste generators cannot store hazardous waste on site for more than 90 days unless they apply for a permit as a waste storage facility or an extension of the 90-day time limit is granted. The barge containing the corrosive waste was not approved for this purpose. The company can be fined up to $25,000 a day for this violation. The estimated time period during which STCC was in violation of this regulatory requirement is 150 days.
 According to the suit filed today, STCC also did not have an adequate Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) plan, which is required under the Clean Water Act. Facilities that could be reasonably expected to discharge oil into a navigable waterway in the United States, or its adjoining shoreline, must submit a SPCC plan to the EPA. EPA inspectors visited the STCC facility in November 1990, and found that the SPCC plan for that facility was inadequate. STCC thereafter submitted a SPCC plan that corrected all but one inadequacy.
 The separate but related suit filed today against First Marine also alleges that it had no SPCC plan.
 Today's action against STCC also alleges Clean Air Act violations. STCC uses steam to clean barges and tanker trucks, which it generates through the operation of two oil-fired boilers. Both EPA and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Energy (NJDEPE) have collected samples of the fuel oil that Standard Tank has used at the facility. The samples establish that the company has repeatedly stored and/or burned fuel oil with a sulfur content in excess of 0.3 percent, in violation of the Clean Air Act. EPA's suit seeks injunctive relief to prevent STCC from continuing to store and use high sulfur oil. It also seeks civil penalties of up to $25,000 per day of violation.
 In addition to the two suits filed today, EPA also filed a Toxic Substance Control Act administrative complaint against Marine Movements, Inc., another Frank family company, for illegal transport of PCB- contaminated material in November 1990. The complaint, which seeks a civil penalty of $250,000, charges that Marine Movements, Inc., sent PCB-contaminated material from the barge Nathan Berman to a facility that was not authorized to receive the PCB waste. The company is under a U.S. Coast Guard order to remove the PCB-contaminated material from the barge, and is required to conform to EPA's PCB regulations in so doing.
 -0- 1/24/92 R
 /CONTACT: Mary Breitenbach of the EPA, 212-264-2515/ CO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Standard Tank Cleaning
 Corporation; First Marine Shipyard ST: New Jersey, New York IN: SU:


GK-CK -- NY059R -- 3376 01/24/92 14:44 EST
COPYRIGHT 1992 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 24, 1992
Words:980
Previous Article:FIRST QUARTER DIVIDEND ANNOUNCED BY WACHOVIA CORPORATION
Next Article:STANDARD PACIFIC CORP. ANNOUNCES THE FILING OF A SHELF REGISTRATION STATEMENT
Topics:


Related Articles
U.S. GOVERNMENT FILES TWO SUITS AGAINST TWO COMPANIES OWNED BY THE FRANK FAMILY FOR ENVIRONMENTAL VIOLATIONS
CAL/EPA CITES FOUR FACILITIES FOR TOXICS VIOLATIONS AS PART OF USA/MEXICO BORDER INITIATIVE
U.S. Sues Steel Giant for Violating Environmental Laws; State of Ohio Will Move to Join Lawsuit.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters