Process to Pay $100,000 to Settle Hazardous Waste Violations
(04/17) TRENTON - Department
of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M.
Campbell today announced that Octagon Process, Inc. has
agreed to pay the state of New Jersey $100,000 in penalties
to settle violations of state laws regulating the handling,
storage and disposal of hazardous substances.
"Octagon Process created a significant
threat to public health and the environment by hanging on
to old, expired chemicals that had exceeded their shelf
life and were no longer useable," said Commissioner
Campbell. "The diligence of DEP's Hazardous Waste enforcement
officials spared Octagon's neighbors from the threat of
exposure to the toxins that this company stored in their
community. I encourage companies with comparable problems
to address this issue immediately."
Octagon Process, of Edgewater, operated
as a chemical manufacturer since the early 1900s. During
a routine compliance inspection in August 2002, DEP Hazardous
Waste enforcement officials determined that the chemical
storage procedures used by Octagon Process created the potential
for a fire, explosion, or release of hazardous waste to
the air, soil or surface waters, which could threaten human
health or the environment.
Unmarked and improperly stored materials
at the site including pesticides, volatile organic compounds
and other toxic compounds could have seriously impacted
the surrounding residential community in the event of a
fire or a toxic release. Many of the containers used to
store these chemicals were rusted and corroded, and bags
of powders and crystals were opened and exposed. Laboratory
bottles were broken and DEP officials noted spills inside
the building. Local fire officials and hazardous materials
teams assisted in the inspection process to ensure the safety
of local residents should an incident occur.
DEP initiated immediate enforcement action
by issuing a Notice of Violation to Octagon Process.
In order to comply with the Notice of Violation,
Octagon Process quickly worked to contain and dispose of
the waste. DEP closely monitored the removal of approximately
47,000 pounds of hazardous wastes and 55,000 pounds of non-hazardous
wastes from the site to an approved hazardous waste treatment,
storage and disposal facility (TSD). The company was determined
to be in compliance with the Notice of Violation on October
DEP subsequently issued a Notice of Civil
Administrative Penalty Assessment for $175,000, which was
later reduced to $100,000 during settlement negotiations.
The state of New Jersey and the federal
government regulate the generation, handling, transport,
storage and disposal of hazardous materials and waste under
the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).