Printer Friendly

CHEMICAL WASTE MANAGEMENT TO PAY $10.1 MILLION SUPERFUND SETTLEMENT FOR NOT REPORTING WASTE SPILLS

 CHEMICAL WASTE MANAGEMENT TO PAY $10.1 MILLION SUPERFUND SETTLEMENT
 FOR NOT REPORTING WASTE SPILLS
 OAK BROOK, Ill., Oct. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Chemical Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE: CHW), today said that it has reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice over allegations that the company failed to report hazardous waste spills its employees caused during the Lackawanna Refuse Superfund site cleanup near Old Forge, Pa., and will pay $10.1 million in penalties, costs, restitution and contributions. The company pleaded guilty to six counts of failing to report spills that occurred on six dates during the remediation project in mid- to late 1988.
 While excavating thousands of drums from the old disposal pit at the site, CWM employees inappropriately crushed some of the drums containing more than the allowable amount of waste rather than repacking them into new containers, called overpacks. This crushing created spills into the pit that were not reported, which triggers criminal liability under the Superfund law, even when there may have been no intention to violate the law.
 In court documents, the Department of Justice noted that:
 -- the company had cooperated fully with the government in its investigation and had acted responsibly once its management was made aware of the charges.
 -- there was no evidence that any employee or management above the site level knew anything about or participated in any improper conduct.
 -- there was no evidence of environmental harm, and the site was sufficiently cleaned, backfilled and capped as a result of the company's work.
 -- CWM would not be debarred or suspended from obtaining future federal government contracts.
 The company noted that it had made an accrual in 1991 in anticipation of the settlement and expected no additional financial impact from it.
 Under the settlement agreement, CWM will pay a $3 million penalty, $2.85 million in restitution to the federal Hazard Substance Superfund, and $251,200 in costs and assessments.
 CWM also will provide $4 million to facilitate the settlement of a separate cost-recovery action in which the government received additional compensation from more than 24 other companies of more than $22 million that were named as major potentially responsible parties to the initial contamination of the site.
 D. P. (Pat) Payne, president and chief executive officer of CWM, issued the following statement:
 "Unfortunate mistakes were made by a few of our people while cleaning up the Lackawanna site four years ago. We accept the responsibility for them. Mistakes like these are costly and cannot be tolerated by the company. Three of the employees have been dismissed and three others have been suspended for their actions.
 "More importantly, our people nearly always do it right; we need to learn from those instances where a few people do it wrong. And, we have. The following actions have been taken over the last two years. CWM has:
 -- centralized and reorganized the environmental management department with more than 200 people working strategically to assure that our activities are in full compliance, with direct reporting to the company president;
 -- instituted stronger and more rigorous compliance and auditing programs with a department headed by a new contract compliance officer;
 -- expanded employee training at all levels on compliance, ethics and other management and quality issues;
 -- reinforced employee information about the special 800 number employee 'help line' so that suspected inappropriate behavior or concerns can be reported confidentially for appropriate investigation, without fear of any reprisal;
 -- through resolution of its board of directors, adopted an expanded environmental policy with 14 comprehensive principles, making it among the most progressive in all of industry;
 -- undergone annual reviews by Arthur D. Little, Inc., regarding the appropriateness and quality of its environmental management systems and environmental policies and procedures, which in the opinion of the reviewing organization establish the company as among the leaders of industry as a whole with regard to corporate environmental management;
 -- revised and adopted a new code of ethics to guide all corporate activities.
 "Although there are no excuses for failures like these at Lackawanna, we believe that our overall record of compliance and performance, often in difficult operating environments, speaks for itself and is excellent. For example, we have successfully completed more than 6,000 remediation projects since 1978. The Lackawanna matter represents the only criminal charges that have ever been filed against the company. Our people have handled over 25,000 waste streams and nearly six million tons of waste in the past two years alone. And, we manage more than 500 different federal waste codes, each with its own detailed procedures.
 "Given the complexity and challenge of our business and the scope of environmental regulations, we may not always be able to achieve perfection. But, mistakes are not inevitable, and each of us at Chemical Waste Management plays a role in helping to assure that they do not happen. Our objective is and always has been to continue to be in full compliance at all times."
 -0- 10/9/92
 /CONTACT: Bob Reincke, 708-218-1670, for Chemical Waste Management/
 (CHW) CO: Chemical Waste Management, Inc. ST: Illinois, Pennsylvania IN: CHM SU:


GK -- NY012 -- 8238 10/09/92 09:36 EDT
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:Oct 9, 1992
Words:853
Previous Article:NATWEST BANCORP TURNAROUND CONTINUES; POSTS $39.4 MILLION PROFIT IN THIRD QUARTER
Next Article:SPEC'S REPORTS YEAR END RESULTS
Topics:


Related Articles
Eighties environmental legislation impacts metalcasting industry.
U.S. EPA ANNOUNCES LARGEST PRIVATE PARTY SUPERFUND SETTLEMENT
SUPERFUND CLEANUP BEGINS AT SAN YSIDRO BORDER SITE
NLC backs EPA proposal on liability cap.
Staggering local costs point to need for reform.
Superfund litigation threatens public interest.
COMPANIES AGREE TO PAY PAST COSTS AT IWP SUPERFUND SITE
Superfund liability dumped onto local governments.
Successor Liability Ruling Against Waste Management Alters Superfund Landscape

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