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U.S. and Virginia Settle with Honeywell International, Inc. Over Alleged Environmental Violations

Release Date: 11/30/2001
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith (215) 814-5543

Contact: Bonnie Smith (215) 814-5543

PHILADELPHIA — Honeywell International, Inc. has agreed to pay a $150,000 penalty and perform five special environmental projects worth $772,000 to settle alleged violations of federal and state environmental regulations at a chemical manufacturing plant in Hopewell, Va.

A proposed consent decree filed in federal court in Richmond and a separate state consent order filed with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) resolves violations discovered in an August 1998 inspection by EPA and DEQ officials. The settlement involves Honeywell, EPA, the U.S. Justice Department and DEQ.

“Today’s settlement resulted from the company’s willingness to compensate for past violations at the plant, and go the extra mile to protect Virginia’s people and environment into the future,”said EPA Regional Administrator Donald S. Welsh.

DEQ Director Dennis H. Treacy said: "Virginia has worked closely with EPA to resolve these concerns at the Honeywell facility. As this settlement is implemented, we look forward to Honeywell's continued efforts to protect the environment, particularly for the benefit of Hopewell area residents."

The Honeywell plant, located near the James River at 905 East Randolph Road in Hopewell, produces chemicals for the synthetic fiber and agricultural industries. At the time of the inspection, the Hopewell facility was owned by AlliedSignal, Inc., which subsequently merged with Honeywell International, Inc.

In the settlement announced today, Honeywell has agreed to perform five supplemental environmental projects worth a total of $772,000. These projects include conversion of a refrigeration unit to use non-CFC refrigerants (estimated cost: $375,000); installation and operation of an air pollution control system to reduce ammonia emissions ($300,000); purchase of a “reverse 911" service to enable Hopewell’s emergency response officials to quickly notify residents of chemical releases or other emergencies ($35,000); provision of a water pollution containment boom, trailer and training for local emergency response officials ($20,000); and purchase portable mass contamination equipment and training for the John Randolph and Southside Regional Medical Centers ($42,000).

In addition, Honeywell will pay a $110,000 civil penalty to the United States and a $40,000 civil penalty to Virginia for these violations.

The federal government’s complaint, which was filed with the proposed settlement, alleges violations of the federal Clean Air Act and federal and state regulations on the storage and disposal of hazardous substances. The alleged violations include:

* inadequate safeguards to prevent or repair leaks of hazardous organic air pollutants;

* inadequate repair and recordkeeping of air conditioners and refrigeration units containing ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs);

* untimely and incomplete reporting of benzene emissions;

* untimely reporting to federal, state, or local emergency response officials of releases of ammonia, nitrogen oxide, dichlorodifluoromethane, sulfuric acid, sulfur dioxide, caprolactam, and benzene;

* untimely reporting to federal, state or local emergency response officials regarding the manufacturing, use or storage of several hazardous substances or toxic chemicals; and

* violations of hazardous waste storage and disposal regulations.

As part of the settlement, the company neither admitted nor denied liability for the alleged violations. The proposed federal consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval. The consent order filed with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is also subject to a 30-day public comment period.


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