EPA Reaches Settlement for Occidental Chemical Corp. Superfund Site Cleanup Costs

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that current and former owners and operators of the Occidental Chemical Corporation Superfund Site in Lower Pottsgrove Township, Montgomery County, Pa. have agreed to pay $2.1 million in past cleanup costs for the site.

In a consent decree filed in federal court by the Justice Department on behalf of EPA, the companies also assumed responsibility for all future cleanup costs at the site. The companies included Occidental Chemical Corporation (OxyChem), Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations and Glenn Springs Holdings, Inc.

Under the superfund law, the landowners, waste generators and waste transporters that are responsible for the contamination of a Superfund site must either clean up the site, or reimburse the government or other parties for cleanup activities.

OxyChem currently owns the site where it manufactured polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic resins from 1980 to 2005. OxyChem purchased the site from Firestone Tire & Rubber Company(now known as Bridgestone Americas Tire operations), which manufactured tires and PVC there from approximately 1945 to 1980. Settling defendant Glenn Springs Holdings, Inc., a corporate affiliate of OxyChem, is the current operator of the site.   Glenn Springs assumed management of the site in 2005 after OxyChem closed its PVC-manufacturing facility.

From 1942 to 1985, operators used the site for disposal of industrial wastes including cutting oils, metal filings, tires, and PVC sludge resins. In 1989, EPA placed the site on its Superfund list of the nation’s most contaminated sites to address unsafe levels of trichloroethylene (“TCE”), vinyl chloride, and other hazardous substances in the soil and groundwater. OxyChem, under EPA oversight, performed remedial action at the site and completed construction in 2008.