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PA CHEMICAL COMPANY PAYS $350,000 FINE
Release Date: 05/05/97
FOR RELEASE: MONDAY, MAY 5, 1997
CHEMICAL COMPANY PAYS $350,000 FINE
Mine Safety Appliance Company (MSA), a government contractor, pleaded no contest and paid a $350,000 fine on April 24, in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh, Pa., for knowingly storing highly toxic and explosive hazardous wastes without a permit in violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The wastes, pentaborane sludge and borane waste, were stored at MSA's Callery Chemical Co., facility in Evans City, Pa. Callery originally produced pentaborane as an experimental high energy fuel for the U.S. Air Force and Navy in the 1950s, however the military decided not to use the fuel. In 1985 Callery repurchased waste pentaborane fuel from the military and reprocessed it into elemental boron, but ceased the operation when reprocessing became unprofitable. The resulting wastes were stored at an unpermitted area at Callery's Evans City facility for a number of years. Pentaborane ignites spontaneously in air and is toxic to the central nervous system, liver, eyes and circulatory system when it is inhaled, ingested or comes into contact with the skin. The case was investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigation Division, the FBI and the Department of Defense.
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