Under its agreement with the EPA, Hercules must operate on-site leachate collection and treatment systems. Leachate at the site is contaminated with resin oils that contain volatile organic compounds, including naphthalene. According to the EPA, the site received “approximately 85,000 tons of industrial waste from the Pennsylvania Industrial Chemical Corporation between 1949 and 1964.” Cleanup of the 26-acre site began in 1995.
Hercules was fined for failure to report three uncontrolled releases of hazardous substances from the site’s treatment system: one occured on April 15, 2011, another on March 31, 2011, and a third on July 19, 2011. The April 15th release allegedly caused the hospitalization of an employee at the West Elizabeth Sanitary Authority (WESA), which is located about a half-mile from the Superfund site.
The EPA reports that the West Elizabeth Sanitary Authority worker was hospitalized for inhaling fumes from the release, which bypassed treatment. The release also led to a four-day shutdown of the treatment plant.
More information about the Site is available here.
The official EPA news release is found here.