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 PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region III, filed a lawsuit today in federal district court in Hancock County, W.Va. against Quaker State Corporation for violations of state and federal hazardous waste laws at the company's Newell, W.Va., oil refinery.
 The EPA has simultaneously issued a Unilateral Order for the company to begin a comprehensive cleanup of all hazardous waste releases at the facility, including more than one foot of floating petroleum in the groundwater.
 The DOJ civil complaint alleges that Quaker State committed violations of governing regulations by illegally operating four surface impoundments, or in-ground waste basins, without a permit at the refinery located on Route 2. The facility refines crude oil, petroleum, distillate waxes and motor oil. The four-surface impoundments, totaling about a half acre in size, receive process wastewaters from the refining operations.
 The complaint alleges that these surface impoundments, some in operation since 1972, are cracked and could be leaking. In addition, the complaint alleges that the surface impoundments lack proper liners, leachate (runoff) collection systems, and groundwater monitoring wells to determine if the hazardous wastes stored in the impoundments are entering the groundwater supply. These environmental engineering safeguards are all requirements of the EPA and West Virginia hazardous waste regulations issued under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the federal law which regulates the treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous waste.
 Information pertaining to the above violations was obtained from two inspections, conducted in May 1991 and May 1992. Quaker State began installing groundwater monitoring wells at the facility in December 1991. Samples from at least two of these wells indicated the presence of a petroleum layer in the groundwater, more than one foot in depth.
 Federal law provides for a civil penalty of up to $25,000 per day, for each violation of federal and state hazardous waste regulations. DOJ will seek a penalty that will both recover the money Quaker State has saved by not complying with the law, and deter future violations.
 In a separate enforcement action, the EPA Region III office filed a Unilateral Order today, under the agency's administrative authority (as opposed to DOJ's judicial authority). The order requires that the company conduct a RCRA Corrective Action Investigation at the facility. This process is a step-by-step cleanup, which requires that Quaker State study the nature and extent of the soil, water and air contamination at the facility, propose a number of corrective measures (or cleanup options) for EPA approval, and then implement the measure(s) selected by EPA. The public will have the opportunity to comment on the preferred cleanup measure(s) before it is implemented.
 Ordinarily, EPA and its RCRA-regulated facilities sign Administrative Consent Agreements to carry out Corrective Action, by which both parties agree on how to conduct the cleanup. However, if the parties cannot agree on the terms, as occurred in the Quaker State case, EPA issues a Unilateral Order for the cleanup to be carried out. Quaker State has 30 days to request either a hearing to contest the Order or request a settlement conference.
 EPA and DOJ are taking these federal enforcement actions to protect human health and the environment on site and in the areas bordering the Quaker State facility. Residential housing is located one tenth of a mile southwest of the Quaker State site. Residential drinking water wells are located within 300 feet of the facility boundary. And, the Ohio River and Congo Run, flowing adjacent to the facility, are used for boating and fishing. No data is available at this time to determine if contaminants are present in residential drinking water wells near the facility.
 -0- 12/3/93
 /CONTACT: Ruth Podems of the EPA, 215-597-4164, or Ana Cobian of the DOJ, 202-616-2765/

CO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Department of Justice;
 Quaker State Corporation ST: Pennsylvania, West Virginia IN: ENV SU:

JO-MJ -- PH030 -- 0384 12/03/93 16:44 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 3, 1993

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