company pleads guilty to improper storage of explosive hazardous waste and agrees to $1.2 million fine
PHILADELPHIA – Action Manufacturing Company, headquartered in Bristol, Bucks County, pled guilty today to storing explosive hazardous waste illegally at its facility in Atglen, Chester County, PA, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. The defendant has agreed to pay a fine of $1.2 million, and will face a five-year term of probation and a special assessment of $800. Its president has agreed to resign, and the company will comply with a schedule for disposing of the backlog of waste built up over many years. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for August 27, 2014.
Action Manufacturing makes timing and arming devices for munitions and explosives. In its manufacturing process, Action Manufacturing mixes explosive powders, and also fills boosters, detonators and other items with explosive powders. Action Manufacturing's production process generates explosive solid waste, and the law requires that it be disposed of in accordance with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The company admitted that, instead of sending its waste to an approved treatment, storage and disposal facility, it stockpiled explosive hazardous waste at its Atglen facility without a permit. In November 2011, civil inspectors from EPA's Land and Chemicals Division and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection inspected the Atglen site, and found the illegally stored waste, including scrap parts and components that were years or even decades overdue for disposal.
Action Manufacturing also admitted that it violated Department of Transportation recordkeeping regulations for transporting explosive material on the public roads.
“The defendant’s illegal business practices threatened the lives and safety of workers and neighbors,” said David G. McLeod, Special Agent in Charge of EPA’s criminal enforcement program in the Middle Atlantic States. “By creating a risk for detonation and release of hazardous waste, the company also threatened to pollute the environment. Today’s plea demonstrates EPA’s commitment to prosecute those who endanger public safety and a clean environment by ignoring the law.”
The case was investigated by the EPA’s Criminal Investigations Division and the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Elizabeth Abrams.
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, EASTERN DISTRICTof PENNSYLVANIA
Suite 1250, 615 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
PATTY HARTMAN, Media Contact, 215-861-8525