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IMMEDIATE RELEASE
1/6/03
03/1

Contact: Amy Cradic
( 609) 984-1795

DEP Fines Facility For Illegally Disposing of Hazardous Waste

(03/1) TRENTON - The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced that the Curtiss Wright Corporation was fined $109,991 for improperly identifying and disposing of more than 33,000 gallons of hazardous waste that was generated from clean up efforts at its former Bergen County facility.

"Curtiss Wright's mishandling of hazardous waste was truly blatant, putting residents, workers and the environment at risk simply to save costs of safe treatment," said DEP Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell. "This cavalier regard for the requirements of the law dema nds severe penalties."

As part of a remediation project at its former facility in Wood-ridge, Curtiss Wright pumps and treats contaminated groundwater to remove oil and other volatile organic chemicals. Between May 1998 and November 1998, the waste removed from the contaminated groundwater was labeled as hazardous and shipped off site to facilities permitted to dispose of hazardous waste.

In January 1999 through March 2002, Curtiss Wright shipped the same waste generated from the contaminated groundwater as non-hazardous. Twelve shipments totaling 33,275 gallons of hazardous waste were improperly labeled and sent to facilities not authorized to handle the treatment, storage or disposal of hazardous waste. In addition to public health risks and environmental impacts, failure to prepare a required hazardous waste manifest or properly identify the type of waste being disposed of can negatively impact the permitted design of the receiving facility.

The DEP issued Curtiss Wright a $109,991 fine for violations of the Solid Waste Management Act, including: failure of a generator of solid waste to determine if waste is hazardous; failure of a generator to prepare a manifest before offering hazardous waste for transport off-site; failure of a generator to designate an authorized facility on the manifest; and failure of a generator to determine if the hazardous waste is restricted from land disposal.

In addition to penalties assessed for environmental violations, the $109,991 fine issued to Curtiss Wright includes a penalty for $4,991 - reflecting the economic savings realized by disposing hazardous waste as non-hazardous waste. The DEP has invoices that show that Curtiss Wright paid $.80 per gallon for hazardous waste disposal and $.65 per gallon for non-hazardous waste disposal.

In a separate Notice of Civil Administrative Penalty Assessment, the transporter - Allstate-ORC in West Milford, Passaic County - was fined $3,000 for accepting hazardous waste from a generator without a required hazardous waste manifest.

Currtiss Wright has requested a hearing concerning the DEP's penalty assessment.

A copy of the DEP's Administrative Order and Notice of Civil Administrative Penalty Assessment issued to Curtiss Wright is available upon request.

 

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