Companies agree to fund cleanup of PVC site

Michael P. Tremoglie Jan. 25, 2012, 10:14am

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday that it has reached an agreement with the current and former operators of a Superfund site in Pennsylvania.

Occidental Chemical Corporation, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations and Glenn Springs Holdings agreed to pay $2.1 million in past cleanup costs for a Superfund site in Lower Pottsgrove Township in Montgomery County. A consent decree filed in federal court in Philadelphia by the Justice Department on behalf of EPA, required that the companies also assume responsibility for all future cleanup costs at the site.

Under the Superfund law, the landowners, waste generators and waste transporters that are responsible for the contamination of a Superfund site must either clean up the site, or reimburse the government or other parties for cleanup activities.

OxyChem currently owns the site where it manufactured polyvinyl chloride plastic resins from 1980 to 2005. It purchased the site from Firestone Tire & Rubber Company (now Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations), which manufactured tires and PVC there from approximately 1945 to 1980. Glenn Springs Holdings, Inc., a corporate affiliate of OxyChem, is the current operator of the site. It began managing the site in 2005 after OxyChem closed its PVC-manufacturing facility.

According to the EPA, from 1942 to 1985, operators used the site for disposal of industrial wastes including cutting oils, metal filings, tires, and PVC sludge resins. EPA placed the site on its Superfund list in 1989. The Superfund list contains the nation's most contaminated sites to address unsafe levels of trichloroethylene, vinyl chloride, and other hazardous substances in the soil and groundwater. OxyChem, under EPA oversight, performed remedial action at the site and completed construction in 2008.

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
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