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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 15, 2006

Contact: Elaine Makatura
(609) 292-2994

PATERSON METAL RECYCLER PAYS $250,000 TO SETTLE
HAZARDOUS WASTE, AIR POLLUTION VIOLATIONS

(06/06) TRENTON - Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Acting Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson today announced a $250,000 settlement with Veridium Corp., a Paterson metal recycling facility, for a series of outstanding violations stemming from the company's repeated failure to properly store hazardous waste and strictly adhere to air-pollution regulations.

"Time and again, this company jeopardized the public's health and safety and our environment by mishandling hazardous materials and neglecting its responsibility to safeguard air quality," Acting Commissioner Jackson said. "We have no tolerance for any actions that leave our already-overburdened urban communities vulnerable to toxic mishaps."

From 1999 to 2005, DEP inspections uncovered seven violations, including Veridium's improper storage of 29,000 pounds of cyanide, acids, bases and other hazardous wastes capable of sparking explosions. Further, Veridium also failed to familiarize police, fire and emergency-response teams with the facility's layout and the kinds of hazardous waste it regularly handled.

The DEP also cited Veridium for operating a materials dryer without the proper permit, failing to properly mark containers as hazardous waste and date them, failing to keep hazardous-waste containers closed and improperly storing 55 gallon drums of hazardous waste for more than 90 days, among other violations. DEP inspections also revealed the company failed to comply with its required air-pollution permits and failed to properly notify the DEP when it released air contaminants during a fire.

Under the settlement agreement, which covers all of Veridium's outstanding violations, the company will make payments on $250,000 through December 2010.

The company ceased all operations at the Paterson site in January and vacated the premises. DEP inspectors will continue to monitor the site to determine if any further action is necessary.

 

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Last Updated: February 16, 2006