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2001 News Releases


Motiva Settles Hazardous Waste Violations at Del. City Refinery

Release Date: 12/10/2001
Contact Information: David Sternberg, (215) 814-5548

David Sternberg, (215) 814-5548

PHILADELPHIA - Motiva Enterprises LLC has agreed to pay a $70,000 penalty to settle alleged violations of federal and state hazardous waste regulations, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today.

In August 1999, a joint inspection by, EPA and Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) documented violations of hazardous waste storage, permitting, and record-keeping requirements. The inspectors observed leaking and open containers of hazardous waste near the facility’s ball mill and thermal desorption unit. EPA’s complaint also cited Motiva for violations of restrictions on land disposal of hazardous wastes, and for gaps in the annual training records of four employees.

These alleged violations occurred well before the July 17, 2001 explosion at the sulfuric acid tanks at the Motiva refinery.

In its March 31, 2000 complaint, EPA cited Motiva for violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), which governs the treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste. RCRA is designed to prevent costly cleanups of waste sites by requiring the safe, and environmentally sound disposal of hazardous substances.

In addition to the $70,000 penalty, Motiva has agreed to improve the refinery’s hazardous waste storage and disposal activities by:

• Excavating and properly disposing of contaminated soils at the ball mill and thermal desorption unit areas.

• Installation of durable, leak-proof liners in roll-off containers used to store oil-bearing materials at the thermal desorption unit area.

• Construction of a bermed, concrete pad at the thermal desorption roll-off container area.

• Implementing an EPA and DNREC-approved plan for compliance with federal and state waste management requirements at the ball mall area.

As part of the settlement, Motiva neither admitted nor denied liability for the alleged violations, but the company has certified that it is now in compliance with the RCRA provisions cited in the complaint.