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News Releases from Region 07

Harcros Chemicals Inc. of Kansas City, Kansas, to Pay Civil Penalty and Pay for Project to Reduce Isopropyl Alcohol Releases Into Environment

10/31/2019
Contact Information: 
Ben Washburn (washburn.ben@epa.gov)
913-551-7364

Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

EPA seal(Lenexa, Kan., Oct. 31, 2019) - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Harcros Chemicals Inc. will pay a civil penalty for alleged unauthorized releases of a hazardous substance at its Kansas City, Kansas, facility in violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

Vanadium pentoxide is regulated as an “extremely hazardous substance” under federal law. As part of the settlement, the company will pay a penalty of $139,745 and install a system to recover waste isopropyl alcohol from being emitted into the air or discharged into the facility’s wastewater system. The recovery system is expected to cost $600,000.

“Unauthorized on-site management and off-site disposal of hazardous waste threaten human health and the environment.  In this case, Harcros’ actions resulted in potential worker exposures and runoff into the facility’s stormwater and wastewater system,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Jim Gulliford.  “As a result of this settlement, on-site workers and the surrounding community will have greater protection from any potential releases from this facility.”

EPA’s investigation found that Harcros released significant quantities of vanadium pentoxide hazardous waste into the environment since the 1960s. This hazardous waste included contaminated sludges from the facility’s stormwater and wastewater system; production wastes such as containers and drum liners; and spilled vanadium pentoxide, all of which Harcros managed on-site and disposed off-site as a non-hazardous solid waste through at least August 2018, in violation of RCRA.

In addition to paying the penalty and installing the system, the settlement requires Harcros to submit a proposal to perform hazardous waste determinations on vanadium pentoxide wastes for EPA to review and approve.

EPA expects the installation of the waste recovery system to reduce releases of isopropyl alcohol by 196,000 pounds per year.

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