Pennsylvania Record

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

EPA sanctions Reading chemical plant owner for alleged oil and hazardous waste storage violations

By Nicholas Malfitano | Mar 30, 2016

Environmental Protection Agency

PHILADELPHIA – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Monday the owner and operator of a Reading-based chemical repackaging and distribution plant will be subject to financial penalties, connected to alleged oil and hazardous waste storage violations.

The EPA stated Brenntag Northeast, Inc. will pay a $55,000 sanction and donate $30,000 of emergency response equipment to a local fire department, to settle the aforementioned violations.

The EPA cited Brenntag for violating both federal and state safeguards which regulate the storage of hazardous waste and oil, such as the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) and Pennsylvania’s hazardous waste state regulations.

According to the EPA, these laws 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.”

Per the EPA, 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.”

The alleged violations against Brenntag centered on “how the materials were 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.”

The settlement includes payment of a $55,000 penalty, from which $11,000 will be placed in 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 No. 1 of Leesport, in order to improve their response capability to incidents involving hazardous materials. The equipment in question includes foam, foam hoses and gas detectors, according to information provided by the agency.

In conjunction with the settlement, Brenntag has not admitted liability but has certified it is now in compliance with the RCRA and CWA’s requirements, as set out by the EPA. Further, Brenntag has developed “new standard operating procedures documenting improved inspection and waste handling practices.”

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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