EPA issues penalties for negligent site cleanup work

Aug. 27, 2015

SEATTLE — Aug. 26, 2015 — The company faces penalties of $367,500 for seven violations of the cleanup agreement.

SEATTLE — Aug. 26, 2015 — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to Earle M. Jorgensen Company (EMJ) to correctly perform its cleanup work to the Duwamish Waterway, according to a press release.

The EPA alleges EMJ and its contractors failed repeatedly to meet cleanup requirements while "they removed and transported creosote and PCB-laden sediments from the Jorgensen Forge site," noted the release. The actions presented risks to human health and the environment.

The company faces penalties of $367,500 for seven violations of the cleanup agreement between July 2014 and July 2015, reported the release.

The EPA includes Best Management Practices (BMPs) with work plans to help ensure contaminated materials and sediment are not released into the environment, shared the release.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the EPA discovered the cleanup agreement violations, stated the release. The agency claims EMJ contractors did not use BMPs and ignored an EPA project manager who called attention to the plans.

"We understand that occasionally mistakes are made," said Sheila Fleming, associate director of the EPA’s regional Superfund office, in the release. "But when warnings are ignored week after week, month after month, it seems that the company and its contractors just didn’t care about the law."