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Newell to clean up lead contamination at former pottery plant

Release Date: 11/23/2004
Contact Information: David Sternberg (215) 814-5548

Contact: David Sternberg 215-814-5548
PHILADELPHIA - Newell Holdings Delaware Inc. (Newell) a subsidiary of Newell Rubbermaid Inc. has signed an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to complete the cleanup of lead-contaminated soil at the 8th and Plutus Pottery Site in Chester, West Virginia, the agency announced today.

The 11-acre site includes an abandoned ceramic pottery manufacturing facility which operated from 1900 until 1981. Newell, formerly known as Anchor Hocking Corporation, owned and operated the facility from 1973 to 1981. Site investigations by EPA and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) revealed lead contamination in soils, sediment and pottery debris at various areas of the site. Trace amounts of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were also found in soils near abandoned electrical transformers at the site.

In an administrative consent order with EPA, Newell Holdings has agreed to complete an EPA-approved cleanup plan. Among other measures, the order requires Newell to:

*Restrict public access to contaminated areas through fencing, physical barriers, and other site security measures.

*Conduct a comprehensive study to determine the extent of lead and PCB contaminated soils, sediment and debris at the site. Newell will also test for other contaminants associated with pottery manufacturing, including arsenic, antimony, barium, cadmium, cobalt, copper, nickel and chromium.

*Properly excavate and dispose of lead and PCB contaminated soils, sediment, and debris, and restore and re-vegetate excavated areas; and stabilize the hillsides on the site’s southwestern and northern boundaries to control erosion.

The consent order also provides Newell with the opportunity to explore recycling options for the ceramic pottery shards that were disposed of at the site.