Madigan secures $690K civil penalty

Keith Loria Mar. 14, 2011, 2:54pm


CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced on Friday that Honeywell International agreed to pay a civil penalty of $690,000 to resolve a lawsuit over the storage of radioactive and hazardous waste.

Honeywell allegedly stored thousands of drums of radioactive and hazardous waste at its Metropolis facility on Route 45 North.

"Regulations that govern how hazardous waste is stored and disposed of are in place to ensure the safety of chemical plant employees and the surrounding communities," Madigan said.

Honeywell, which produces uranium hexafluoride and uses potassium hydroxide in air pollution control devices during the manufacturing process, allegedly stored radioactive residue and hazardous waste from the potassium hydroxide at the Metropolis facility. The residue is defined as hazardous under the federal Resource Conservation Recovery Act.

Honeywell maintains that it intended to reprocess to residue, extracting any useable uranium, but that it encountered problems with the equipment used in the reprocessing. The company also alleges that there was no off-site disposal facility that would accept the residue.

In addition to the $690,000 civil penalty, Honeywell has agreed to reprocess the hazardous waste under the terms of an interim agreement it reached with Madigan's office last year.

Under the interim agreement, Honeywell has reprocessed 1,700 drums of hazardous waste since 2009. Approximately 1,000 of the drums will be processed per year until the process is complete or until 2016, whichever occurs first.

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