Brenntag Northeast, Inc., the owner and operator of a chemical repackaging and distribution plant in Reading, PA, will pay a $55,000 penalty, and donate $30,000 of emergency response equipment to a local fire department, to settle oil and hazardous waste storage violations of regulations designed to protect public health and the environment, said officials at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The EPA cited the company for violating federal and state safeguards governing the storage of hazardous waste and oil. The federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the federal Clean Water Act, and Pennsylvania’s hazardous waste regulations are designed to protect public health and the environment, and avoid costly cleanups, by requiring the safe, environmentally sound storage and disposal of hazardous waste and oil.

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The hazardous wastes and oils involved were waste solvents generated by cleaning containers and tanks, as well as oil and chemical products stored for distribution.

Violations focused on how the materials ended up stored, and included failure to conduct proper and timely inspections, and failure to adequately control emissions of volatile waste, and failure to plan for oil spill prevention.

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The settlement includes payment of a $55,000 penalty, of which $11,000 will go into the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund and be available to fund future oil cleanups at facilities nationwide.

In addition, Brenntag will purchase $30,000 of equipment for the Union Fire Department #1 of Leesport to improve their response to hazardous material incidents. This includes foam, foam hoses and gas detectors.

As part of the settlement, the company has not admitted liability, but certified it is in compliance with the RCRA and the Clean Water Act requirements cited by EPA. The company also has developed new standard operating procedures documenting improved inspection and waste handling practices.

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