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Pennsylvania Steel Beam and Concrete Manufacturers Settle Chemical Release Reporting Violations at Lancaster, Williamsport and Denver Plants

Release Date: 07/28/2010
Contact Information: Donna Heron 215-814-5113 / heron.donna@epa.gov

PHILADELPHIA (July 28, 2010) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that High Steel Structures, Inc. and its sister company High Concrete Group, LLC, have settled alleged violations of toxic chemical reporting requirements at their plants in Lancaster, Williamsport and Denver, Pa.

EPA cited the companies for violating the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), which requires companies that manufacture, use or process more than a threshold amount of listed toxic chemicals to file an annual toxic chemical release form with EPA and the state. Under EPCRA, companies must also report both routine and accidental releases of toxic chemicals, as well as the maximum amount of any listed chemicals at the facility and the amount contained in wastes transferred off-site.

These annual reports are used to compile the Toxic Release Inventory, a publicly available EPA database that contains information on toxic chemical releases and waste management activities. This inventory informs the public about toxic chemicals and releases in their community. For more information, see http://www.epa.gov/tri/.

The alleged violations at the Lancaster plant, located at 1853 William Penn Way, were uncovered during an EPA inspection in 2009. The company did not report releases for lead, chromium and zinc dust for the years 2005, 2006 and 2007. The company has since submitted these reports and agreed to pay a civil penalty of $165,000.

At the Williamsport facility, located at 3501 W. Fourth Street, and the Denver facility, located at 125 Denver Road, the companies voluntarily disclosed reporting violations in April 2010. Under EPA’s “Self-Disclosure Policy,” which encourages companies to monitor environmental compliance, and promptly report and correct violations, the company was eligible for 100 percent mitigation of the penalties, which could have been $227,717 at the Williamsport plant and $98,866 at the Denver facility.

As part of the settlements, the companies did not admit liability for the alleged violations. However, High Steel and High Concrete have indicated that they have developed and implemented systematic toxic release inventory reporting processes and will conduct annual reviews to prevent violations from recurring.

For more information about EPA's Audit Policy, visit http://www.epa.gov/compliance/incentives/auditing/auditpolicy.html.