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EPA Settlement with GlaxoSmithKline Protects Community Health and the Environment from Hazardous Waste Pollution in King of Prussia, Pa.

Release Date: 08/11/2014
Contact Information: Donna Heron 215-814-5113 / heron.donna@epa.gov

PHILADELPHIA (August 11, 2014) – In a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, GlaxoSmithKline, LLC (GSK) has agreed to properly manage the hazardous waste at its research and development facility in King of Prussia, Pa.

GSK, located at 709 Swedeland Rd., has also agreed to pay a $317,550 penalty to settle the alleged violations of hazardous waste regulations

EPA cited GSK for violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the federal law governing the treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste. RCRA is designed to protect public health and the environment, and to avoid costly cleanups, by requiring the safe, environmentally sound storage and disposal of hazardous waste.

After an August 2012 EPA inspection, and follow-up investigations, EPA cited the company for RCRA hazardous waste storage violations involving a 150-gallon hazardous waste tank containing waste ethanol, an ignitable substance; a 55-gallon drum containing a hazardous waste substance. Additionally, the company was cited for the improper handling of fluorescent light tubes, which contain mercury, a hazardous chemical.
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The alleged violations included:

      failure to comply with monitoring, storage, marking, and recordkeeping requirements related to a 150–gallon hazardous waste aboveground tank used to store waste ethanol;
      failure to determine the volatile organic concentration of the ethanol that was stored in the 150-gallon hazardous waste tank;
      failure to conduct monthly leak detection of valves associated with the ethanol storage tank;
      failure to keep closed a 55-gallon drum containing hazardous waste;
      failure to keep closed several boxes of used fluorescent light tubes; and,
      failure to properly document the length of time that the fluorescent light tubes were stored for disposal.
    The settlement penalty reflects the company’s compliance efforts, and its cooperation with EPA in the resolution of this matter. As part of the settlement, GSK has neither admitted nor denied liability for the alleged violations, but has certified its compliance with applicable RCRA requirements.

    For more information about hazardous waste and RCRA, visit http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/hazard/index.htm