U.S. settles with U.S. Magnesium, the largest producer of magnesium metal in the Northern Hemisphere, for alleged illegal disposal of hazardous waste at Rowley, Utah facility
Magnesium metal producer commits to process changes to treat its waste streams to remove dioxins, furans, hexachlorobenzene and PCBs to reduce environmental impacts from its operations
SALT LAKE CITY -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) today announced a settlement with U.S Magnesium (USM) to resolve violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and require response actions under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) at its Rowley, Utah facility. The settlement includes extensive process modifications at the facility that will reduce the environmental impacts from its production operations and will ensure greater protection for its workers.
“This settlement advances EPA’s mission of achieving environmentally beneficial management of hazardous waste by reducing the volume and toxicity of waste generated on site and ensuring that the U.S. taxpayer will not be responsible for future costs associated with cleanup and closure of this facility,” said Susan Bodine, EPA's Assistant Administrator for Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.
This settlement includes construction of a barrier wall around 1,700 acres of the operating portions of the facility to prevent leaks or breaches of hazardous materials to the Great Salt Lake; construction of a filtration plant to treat all wastewater; and provides for financial assurance to ensure cleanup and closure of the facility.
The company will also spend at least $37 million to implement the terms of the settlement and will pay a civil penalty of $250,000.
“This agreement will secure the long-term protection human health and the environment at the U.S. Magnesium facility,” said acting EPA Regional Administrator Debra Thomas. “EPA, DOJ, and the State of Utah have worked with the facility to address environmental impacts through litigation, EPA cleanup authorities, state permitting activities, and, ultimately, this mutually agreed upon settlement for the long-term management of hazardous waste.”
A consent decree formalizing the settlement was lodged today in the U.S. District Court Central Division Utah and is subject to a 30-day public comment period and approval by the federal court.