EPA, DOJ SAY TITANIUM METALS TO PAY $13.75M CIVIL PENALTY

     (The following press release from the U.S. Justice Department and the U.S.  Environmental Protection Agency was received by e-mail. The sender verified the  statement.)  EPA REQUIRES GLOBAL TITANIUM MANUFACTURER TO INVESTIGATE AND CLEAN UP PCB  CONTAMINATION IN NEVADA  Titanium Metals Corporation to Pay Record $13.75 Million Civil Penalty for TSCA  Violations  WASHINGTON - Titanium Metals Corporation (TIMET), one of the world's largest  producers of titanium parts for jet engines, has agreed to pay a record $13.75  million civil penalty and perform an extensive investigation and cleanup of  potential contamination stemming primarily from the unauthorized manufacture  and disposal of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) at its manufacturing facility  in Henderson, Nevada, the Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental  Protection Agency (EPA) announced today.  The penalty is the largest ever imposed for violations of the Toxic Substances  Control Act (TSCA) at a single facility.  TIMET will pay an additional $250,000  for violations related to illegal disposal of hazardous process wastewater, in  violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).  Under the settlement, EPA expects that the settlement will result in the  removal of approximately 84,000 pounds of PCB-contaminated waste from the  environment each year, and will prevent the improper disposal of 56 million  pounds of hazardous waste each year.  "This settlement holds TIMET fully accountable for the period of its  unauthorized manufacture and handling of harmful PCBs at the Henderson  facility," said Robert G. Dreher, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the  Environment and Natural Resources Division.  "It will also result in  substantial environmental cleanup and protection for the benefit of residents  of the area, now and in the future."  "This record penalty reflects EPA's commitment to protect communities by  reducing pollution from the mineral sector," said Cynthia Giles, assistant  administrator for EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.   "Today's settlement ensures TIMET complies with the law and takes important  steps to build transparency in the investigation and remediation of this  facility."  In addition to paying the penalty and performing the investigation and cleanup,  the settlement requires TIMET to electronically submit monitoring data  biannually to EPA for three years showing that it is appropriately managing any  PCBs it generates.  TIMET has also agreed to allow the Nevada Division of  Environmental Protection (NDEP) to make public TIMET's EPA-approved work plans  and completed work reports through a dedicated website.  The company has already spent approximately $6 million on investigation, site  cleanup and compliance measures to address the potential contamination. This  work has included extensive sampling; draining and relining of a surface  impoundment; analyzing the extent of PCB contamination in its solid waste  landfill; removing PCB waste from that landfill; and decontaminating processing  equipment. In addition, TIMET estimates that it will spend at least $1 million  to complete the work required by the settlement.  TIMET processes titanium from rutile ore at its 108-acre manufacturing facility  at the Black Mountain Industrial (BMI) Complex in Henderson.  This process  generates hazardous waste and PCBs.  In the complaint, the government alleged  that EPA inspections conducted in 2005, 2006 and 2008 revealed that TIMET had  been unlawfully manufacturing PCBs as a by-product of its titanium  manufacturing process, without an exclusion from TSCA's ban.  The 2008 EPA  inspection also revealed that the company had disposed of PCB-contaminated  waste in a solid waste landfill and a trench at the plant.  The complaint  further alleges that, on several occasions during 2005 and 2007, the company  had unlawfully disposed of acidic, corrosive hazardous process wastewater into  an unpermitted surface impoundment at the facility, in violation of RCRA.  Since 2007, the company has been working with EPA to bring the facility into  compliance.  TIMET has taken steps to reduce significantly the amount of PCBs  it generates, manage appropriately the PCBs it does generate, and TIMET already  has corrected the other regulatory violations cited in the complaint.  TIMET is  now in the process of documenting that it qualifies for an exclusion from  TSCA's ban on the manufacture of PCBs.  As a part of that process, TIMET will  provide required documentation to certify to EPA that it is in compliance with  TSCA requirements governing the manufacture and disposal of PCBs.  TIMET was purchased by Precision Castparts Corporation in 2012.  Both companies  have worked with EPA to achieve compliance and to clean up the operations.  The  EPA and NDEP will continue to oversee multiple cleanup efforts at the facility  and in the BMI Complex.  PCBs are human-made organic chemicals that were widely used in paints,  construction materials, plastics, and electrical equipment prior to 1978.   PCBs, which are probable carcinogens, have been banned in the United States for  the last 30 years, except for specific uses authorized by regulations.  When  released into the environment, PCBs can persist for decades because they do not  break down through natural processes.  Exposure to PCBs has been demonstrated  to cause cancer, as well as a variety of other adverse health effects on the  immune system, reproductive system, nervous system, and endocrine system.  This settlement is part of EPA's nationwide enforcement initiative to reduce  pollution from mineral processing operations.  Because mining and mineral  processing facilities have the potential to generate large volumes of toxic and  hazardous waste, the agency's goal is to reduce the risk to human health and  the environment by ensuring wastes from these facilities are properly managed.  TIMET, headquartered near Philadelphia, has been supplying nearly one-fifth of  the world's titanium demand since 1950.  The company's Henderson plant, which  has been in operation since 1950, is one of the largest industrial facilities  in the state.  TIMET is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Precision Castparts  Corporation, a worldwide manufacturer of complex metal components and products  based in Portland, Oregon.  The consent decree, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the District of  Nevada, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and approval by the  federal court.  The consent decree can be viewed at  www.justice.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html<http://www.justice.gov/enrd/Consent_De crees.html>.  For more information on the settlement:  http://www2.epa.gov/enforcement/timet-settlement  (rml) NY    
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