WASHINGTON, D.C. — Allegations of Clean Air Act violations by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) against Heritage Thermal Services Inc., have reached a proposed settlement, according to the federal government.
According to the DOJ and EPA, Heritage failed to comply with emissions limits, operating parameter limits and other Clean Air Act regulatory requirements prior to and after a 2013 explosion at the company's incinerator in East Liverpool, Ohio. The explosion resulted in ruptured ducting, which released untreated flue gas, steam and boiler ash.
“The July 2013 explosion at the Heritage incinerator was a consequence of systemic failures to comply with the Clean Air Act, which protects communities and American workers from harmful releases of air pollutants,” acting assistant attorney general Jeffrey Wood said in a statement. “This settlement requires the company to comply with Clean Air Act requirements and to perform important lead abatement work to make the East Liverpool community a safer and healthier place for workers and residents.”
“[This] settlement will bring the Heritage plant into compliance with Clean Air Act regulations, preventing incidents like the July 2013 explosion,” added EPA Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance associate administrator Susan Bodine. “In addition, Heritage will perform a project that will help to protect people, especially children, from the harmful health effects of lead exposure.”
As part of the proposed settlement, Heritage will pay $288,000 and spend at least $302,500 in hazard abatement work at properties within 25 miles of its East Liverpool site.