WILMINGTON, Del. (Legal Newsline) - The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has arranged for E.I. DuPont De Nemours & Co. to pay a fine of $725,000 and upgrade procedures for handling hazardous materials.

DEP Commissioner Bob Martin issued the announcement Thursday. The agreement also requires routine and preventative maintenance at its Chambers Works facility in Salem County.

The agreement -- made via an Administrative Consent Order -- is the result of DEP investigations of spills and handling problems at the plant, hazardous waste disposal landfills, drum and container storage areas, a rail siding and an industrial wastewater treatment plant.

"Protection of our water, air and natural resources from pollution is of utmost importance to the Christie Administration," Martin said. "This agreement reached with DuPont will ensure the Chambers Works facility meets the high standard of environmental protection that the DEP and community expects."

This is the second time DuPont has made such an arrangement. The company agreed in 2006 to upgrade equipment and pay a $105,000 fine as a result of a DEP investigation that logged more than 220 incidents of spills and discharges at the plant.

There were multiple reasons for the problems, DEP said. Violations varied in size and occurred as a result of "faulty or inoperable pumps, leaking valves and gaskets, valves inadvertently left open, and cracks in containment structures and accidents."

Although the upgrades worked, problems started arising again in mid-2008, the DEP said. The new ACO addresses more than 60 violations resulting from subsequent DEP inspections of the facility.

DuPont's Chambers Works is located in New Jersey along the Delaware River on a site which includes parts of Pennsville, Deepwater and Carneys Point. Since operations began there 100 years ago, more than 1,200 chemicals have been developed at the facility. DuPont also operates Secure Environmental Treatment, which treats wastewater generated by DuPont as well as outside hazardous waste generators.

"DuPont needs to apply its corporate vision of sustainability and environmental stewardship to its day-to-day operations at the Chambers Works facility, which means making the necessary investments in equipment and personnel that are critical to protection of the environment, public health and the health of workers," said Wolf Skacel, Assistant Commissioner for Compliance and Enforcement.

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