Tyco International Inc. will pay a penalty of more than $1.1 million to resolve violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) at its former metal forming and finishing facility located in Hamburg, N.J., the Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Thursday.
In a companion case, the facility’s current owner, Shan Industries, has agreed to and has already completed a retrofit of equipment used in metal finishing at the facility that is intended to limit emissions of hazardous air pollutants.
Under the settlement, Shan has also agreed to follow reporting requirements and will pay a $101,000 penalty. Shan acquired the facility from Tyco in January 2000 and completed alterations to the degreasing equipment in July 2006. The settlement requires reporting of monitoring, certifications and repairs to the degreaser on an annual and semiannual basis.
“Effective pollution controls and reporting are essential to protecting human health and the environment from harmful air pollutants,” said Matthew J. McKeown, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “Today’s penalty should serve to deter future violators from failing to comply with the laws that protect the environment and public health.”
“Tyco and Shan are both held accountable for the violations at the premises,” said Alan J. Steinberg, EPA Regional Administrator. “They must install the appropriate air pollution controls and pay the penalties. The EPA will continue to enforce the Clean Air Act and help ensure that workers and citizens breathe cleaner air.”
The facility is a metal forming and finishing plant that Tyco owned from about 1963 until 2000, when it sold the plant to Shan. The facility uses trichloroethylene (TCE) to degrease and chromium to electroplate metal parts, for items such as writing implements and automotive fuel filters. TCE and chromium are among the most toxic of hazardous air pollutants, and repeated or long-term exposure to which can cause serious health effects.
In complaints filed simultaneously with the settlements, the United States charged that Tyco and Shan failed to comply with design, testing, operating, monitoring and reporting requirements under the CAAs regulations. Tyco was in violation of the regulations from at least February 1999 until it sold the facility in January 2000.
Under the terms of the United States’ settlement with Tyco, the company will pay the $1,137,000 civil penalty in one lump sum. Shan will pay its penalty over three years based on its limited financial resources. Shan will also provide environmental information to EPA as required by the terms of the settlement.