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1996 News Releases



Release Date: 12/31/1996
Contact Information: Lois A. Grunwald, (415) 744-1588

     (San Francisco) -- The owner of a Nevada facility that stored leaking drums of hazardous substances has been ordered to reimburse the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) $435,000 to cover cleanup and enforcement costs associated with the company's environmental violations.  

     "This ruling serves notice that facilities that handle hazardous substances in an irresponsible manner will pay for clean up and for the costs to taxpayers for pursuing them to do the work," said Keith Takata, U.S. EPA's Superfund director.
     The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued the order to Harold B. Chapman Jr., who operated a metals manufacturing and chemical storage facility at 5600 Whiskey Springs Road in the Palomino Valley area of Washoe County between 1974 and 1990. The $435,000 covers U.S. EPA and U.S. Department of Justice costs in the case.

     In 1989, U.S. EPA inspected the site at the request of Washoe County and found more than 2,000 five-gallon containers of paint,  oil, sulfuric acid, chloroform, alcohols, and other military surplus chemicals, many of which were leaking. U.S. EPA issued an order to Chapman to remove the chemicals from the outdoor, unfenced yard and perform soil sampling. Chapman did not immediately respond to the order, a violation of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, known as Superfund. The site was eventually cleaned up by Chapman by April 1991.

    In addition to the current cost award, Chapman agreed in September of this year to pay U.S. EPA $50,000 to settle claims for civil penalties for delay in cleaning up the facility and responding to U.S. EPA information requests.  

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