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EPA Settles with Parties to Recover $11.75 Million In Past Cleanup Costs for Elkton Firehole Site

08/22/2018
Contact Information: 
Roy Seneca (seneca.roy@epa.gov)
215-814-5567

PHILADELPHIA (August 22, 2018) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a settlement today to recover $11.75 million in past costs associated with the investigation and cleanup of Elkton Firehole Site in Elkton, Maryland, which was formally used for the disposal of waste from the manufacture of fireworks and military explosives.

Under terms of the proposed consent decree, Honeywell International, Inc. and Mack Trucks, Inc will reimburse the government $5,500,000 and the United States on behalf of the settling federal agencies (Army, Navy and the U.S. Department of Defense) will pay $6,250,000.

The 55-acre site at 183 Zeitler Road about two miles north of Elkton was used for the disposal of wastes generated from an explosives manufacturing facility during and just after World War II. 

Triumph manufactured fireworks at the facility beginning in 1933 and expanded in a few years to also manufacture munitions and explosives for the Army and Navy. Waste was collected in drums and disposed of in trench-like areas referred to as fireholes, which were scattered across the site. 

Honeywell and Mack Trucks are successors to Triumph Industries Inc. and its successors, who were the former owners and operators of the site. The Army and Navy were also alleged former operators at the site.

The agreement announced today was reached under the federal Superfund law -- formally known as the Comprehensive Environmental Responsibility, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) -- which requires landowners, waste generators and waste transporters responsible for contaminating a Superfund site to clean up the site, or reimburse the government or other parties for cleanup activities. See https://www.epa.gov/superfund .

The proposed consent decree, filed in federal district court on August 17 by the U.S. Department of Justice, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval. For more information about this site and its cleanup, see https://response.epa.gov/site/site_profile.aspx?site_id=1299 .                                                                                                     

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Superfund Task Force. In May 2017 EPA established a task force to restore the Superfund program to its rightful place at the center of the Agency's core mission to protect health and the environment. epa.gov/superfund/superfund-task-force.