We've made some changes to EPA.gov. If the information you are looking for is not here, you may be able to find it on the EPA Web Archive or the January 19, 2017 Web Snapshot.

News Releases from Region 03

EPA settles hazardous waste storage violations with former owners, operators of Reading, Pa. manufacturing facility

Contact Information: 
Roy Seneca (seneca.roy@epa.gov)

PHILADELPHIA (November 9, 2015) -- Baldwin Hardware Corp. and SBD Property Holdings, the former owners and operators of a hardware manufacturing plant in Reading, Pa., will pay a $420,000 penalty to settle alleged hazardous waste storage violations of regulations designed to protect public health and the environment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today.

The facility, located at 841 Wyomissing Blvd., manufactured door, bathroom and lighting hardware before manufacturing operations ceased in 2014.

EPA cited the companies for violating federal and state safeguards governing the treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste. The federal law, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and Pennsylvania's hazardous waste regulations are designed to protect public health and the environment, and avoid long and extensive cleanups by requiring the safe, environmentally sound storage and disposal of hazardous waste.

Baldwin, headquartered in Lake Forest, Calif., owned and operated the plant from 1987 through mid-December 2012. The plant was then acquired by Indianapolis-based SBD Property Holdings, an affiliate of Stanley Black and Decker. Together, Baldwin and SBD owned and operated the facility until it was sold in the summer of 2015. According to EPA, violations persisted after the facility was acquired by SBD.

The hazardous wastes involved in the alleged violations were lead-contaminated dust generated during the plant's forging, polishing, and plating operations, as well as hazardous waste plating solution.

The alleged violations focused on how the hazardous waste was stored, failure to conduct proper and timely inspections, and failure to operate the plant to minimize the risk of release of hazardous dust waste.

As part of the settlement, the companies have not admitted liability, but have certified they are currently in compliance with the RCRA requirements cited by EPA. After manufacturing operations ceased at this plant, lead-containing hazardous waste was transported off-site for disposal in several shipments from August 2013 through June 2015.

The companies are continuing with corrective action cleanup activities at the site under EPA supervision to address historic groundwater contamination. More information on this project can be found at: http://www3.epa.gov/reg3wcmd/ca/pa/webpages/pad002350833.html .

For more information about hazardous waste and RCRA, visit http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/hazard/index.htm .