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PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES: CBS INC. FINED $5.9 MILLION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL LAW VIOLATIONS

 LANCASTER, Pa., March 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources (DER) announced today that CBS Inc. (NYSE: CBS) of New York has been fined $5.9 million for violating Pennsylvania's solid waste management and clean streams laws.
 The violations occurred at the company's former toy manufacturing facility in East Lampeter Township, Lancaster County.
 "CBS knew of historical contamination at the site and also contributed to the pollution of the property, but did nothing to let citizens know there could be a potential health and safety problem," DER Secretary Arthur A. Davis said.
 "No individual, corporation or government entity -- however big and powerful -- can come into Pennsylvania and break environmental laws and regulations with impunity," Davis said.
 Davis said the Casey administration has been and continues to be aggressive in efforts to enforce statutes that protect public health and safety and the environment. For example, he said the courts have upheld orders for the Navy and other federal agencies to clean up contaminated sites in the state.
 "We've also levied millions of dollars in fines on companies like Texas Eastern, Ashland Oil and Olivetti," Davis said. "We will not tolerate irresponsible behavior by any company or government entity that operates in Pennsylvania."
 Davis said CBS, which operated the facility from 1978 to 1986, received the results of three investigations between 1983 and 1985 that revealed environmental problems on the property, but took no action to notify DER or to clean up the site.
 Davis also announced that DER has reached an agreement with Playskool Inc., the current owner of the property, for clean-up of the site as well as an $82,000 penalty.
 "That is the good news today -- the site will be cleaned up," Davis said. "The company offered to clean up the property and already has begun an in-depth investigation to determine the extent of the pollution."
 Davis said the penalty was imposed against Playskool because the company failed to notify DER of existing contamination, which was disclosed in a report provided to Playskool when it purchased the property from CBS in 1986.
 "Playskool has, however, acted in good faith since notifying DER in late 1990," Davis said.
 The 56-acre site, on the east bank of the Conestoga River, has been home to a series of toy manufacturers since about 1956. Hazardous and industrial wastes from operations were disposed of in two unlined waste lagoons, resulting in soil and groundwater contamination.
 When CBS purchased the property in 1978, one lagoon was still visible. The company filled-in that lagoon, allowing the contamination to continue migrating and leaching into the soil and groundwater.
 Davis said DER attempted to reach an agreement with CBS and Playskool which would have apportioned responsibility for the cleanup. CBS and Playskool could not come to terms, and the department accepted Playskool's offer to clean up the site.
 Ongoing investigations by Playskool have confirmed both soil and groundwater contamination at the site. Contaminants include the suspected cancer-causing solvents trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE) as well as heavy metals such as nickel, lead and zinc.
 "At this point, there are no immediate threats to public health and safety," Davis said. "There are no residential wells in the area and the public water supply is safe."
 Davis said that under the terms of the agreement with Playskool, the company will continue to assess the extent of contamination, identify and analyze cleanup alternatives, investigate possible interim cleanup measures and select a final cleanup strategy.
 Davis said the company is required to adhere to a strict cleanup schedule and to submit periodic reports to DER. Cleanup is expected to begin in about a year.
 /delval/
 -0- 3/8/93
 /CONTACT: Pam DiSalvo of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources, 717-787-1323, or Alisa Harris, 717-657-4585/


CO: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources; CBS Inc.;
 Playskool Inc. ST: Pennsylvania, New York IN: ENV SU:


CC -- PH021 -- 4062 03/08/93 13:35 EST
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Date:Mar 8, 1993
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