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Phosphorous Manufacturer Fined $18 million in a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Case
Release Date: 05/05/2004
Suzanne Ackerman 202-564-7819 / firstname.lastname@example.org
(05/05/04) Rhodia, Inc., of Cranbury, N.J., former operating company of an elemental phosphorus manufacturing plant in Silver Bow, Mont., was sentenced on April 29 for its conviction on two felony counts of violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Rhodia will pay a $16.2 million fine and an additional $1.8 million in restitution to the Montana Department of Environmental Quality. The company must also serve five years probation, which could be extended if site clean-up is not completed. Rhodia manufactured elemental phosphorus at the Silver Bow plant from 1986 until its closure in 1996. In its previous guilty plea, Rhodia admitted that from Jan. 1999 until Aug. 2000, it illegally stored carbon brick and precipitator dust contaminated with elemental phosphorus waste at the closed plant. Rhodia also admitted that following plant closure, it illegally stored elemental phosphorus sludge at the site in a large concrete tank. Waste elemental phosphorus is highly reactive, can ignite when exposed to air and presents a significant risk to human health and the environment. The case was investigated by the Denver Area Office of EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality with the assistance of EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center, and with legal and technical assistance provided by EPA Region 8's offices in Denver and Helena, Mont. It was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Missoula.