Madigan: Chemical Company Agrees to Civil Penalty for Hazardous Waste Storage

Chicago–(ENEWSPF)–March 14, 2011.  Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced today that Honeywell International, Inc. has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $690,000 to resolve a lawsuit that alleged the company illegally stored thousands of drums containing radioactive and hazardous waste at its facility on Route 45 North near Metropolis.

“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,” said Attorney General Madigan.

Honeywell produces uranium hexafluoride and uses potassium hydroxide (KOH) in air pollution control devices during the manufacturing process. Madigan’s lawsuit alleged that KOH residue containing both radioactive waste and hazardous waste as defined under the federal Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) was stored in thousands of drums at the facility. Honeywell maintains there was no off-site disposal facility that would accept the waste and that it intended to reprocess the residue to extract any useable uranium. However, the company encountered problems with the equipment used to reprocess the hazardous material.

In addition to the monetary settlement, Honeywell will continue to reprocess the hazardous waste under terms of an interim agreement reached last year with Madigan’s office. With a new system in place, the company has reprocessed 1,700 drums of hazardous waste since 2009 and will process approximately 1,000 of the drums per year until the processing is complete or by the end of 2016 whichever occurs first.

Assistant Attorney General Kelly Phelps is handling the case filed in Massac County Circuit Court for Madigan’s Environmental Bureau.

Source: illinoisattorneygeneral.gov