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EPA Cites Alcoa Subsidiary for Hazardous Waste Violations

Release Date: 12/31/2003
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(#03146) NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that it has cited Howmet Corporation, a Dover, New Jersey subsidiary of Alcoa Inc., for violating numerous hazardous waste regulations. The manufacturing facility shipped hazardous waste to another facility to be used in the production of fertilizer without properly identifying and managing the material as a hazardous waste, as required by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

"The shipment of hazardous wastes requires proper management to ensure protections," said EPA Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny. "That's why EPA has strict regulations that must be followed whenever companies handle materials that could be harmful to people and the environment."

Howmet failed to identify the used potassium hydroxide (KOH) sent off-site for use in fertilizer as a hazardous waste and did nothing to ensure that it was managed properly. Neither the trucking company that transported the KOH, nor the facility receiving it was authorized to transport, treat, store, or dispose of hazardous waste. Howmet did not prepare required manifests for the shipment of KOH. These manifests must identify the type and quantity of the hazardous waste being carried and designate where the waste is going, which must be a facility permitted to treat, store, and/or dispose of hazardous waste. Finally, the company did not send or maintain certified notices to the receiving manufacturing facility detailing whether any treatment of the KOH hazardous waste was necessary. Howmet is no longer sending the KOH to fertilizer manufacturing facilities. The company faces an $180,021 penalty for the violations, and has 30 days to respond to EPA's complaint. In addition to seeking a penalty, EPA has ordered Howmet to comply with all RCRA requirements for managing hazardous wastes when its used KOH is sent off-site to be used in a manner constituting disposal, as in the production of fertilizer. The company has the right to contest the complaint and the order.