FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE THURSDAY, AUGUST 24, 1995

CONTACT:

JIM SWEENEY, DOJ (202)514-2008 TDD: (202)514-1888 GWEN BROWN, EPA (202)260-1384

HORSEHEAD SETTLES ENVIRONMENTAL VIOLATIONS WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A hazardous waste recycler near Allentown, Pennsylvania has agreed to pay a $5.65 million penalty and to spend another $30-40 million dollars to reduce harmful releases of lead and cadmium into the soil, air and water, the Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency announced today. The settlement, filed in Harrisburg, would upgrade the facility to limit release of contaminated dust and curb drainage from the Palmerton, Pa., processing facility of Horsehead Industries and Horsehead Resources Development Company which the government said had contaminated the nearby Aquashicola Creek and the Lehigh River. The agreement resolves a lawsuit filed by the United States and Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection against Horsehead which alleged that the company violated the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. "This settlement reflects the commitment of this administration and the state of Pennsylvania to insuring a healthy living environment for the people of Palmerton," said Lois Schiffer, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Environment and Natural Resources Division. "It is a great example of government and industry working together to eliminate environmental contamination." "Today's agreement will do much to improve the environment in Palmerton, and ultimately, the health of its citizens," said Michael McCabe, EPA's Regional Administrator. "It represents the culmination of an impressive four-year cooperative effort between the United States and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to resolve some very serious environmental issues for that area." Steven A. Herman, EPA's Assistant Administrator for Enforcement and Compliance

Assurance said, "This agreement demonstrates the government's determination to develop a comprehensive settlement which requires the company to improve its environmental practices in order to assure protection of environmental and public health." The consent decree provides that Horsehead will upgrade and change its ongoing operations to limit dust and visible stack emissions from its processing operations. A visible air emissions monitoring system will be installed so that state environmental officials can monitor the emissions via an online computer system. This system will allow them to have instant access to air monitoring data, and be aware of any problems as they occur. Additionally, Horsehead will construct buildings to house materials that contain hazardous substances while those materials await processing. All outdoor storage piles will be removed, and those sites will be closed consistent with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Under the terms of the agreement, Horsehead will also apply for a recycling permit from the Department of Environmental Protection to extract, and resell zinc-containing materials from hazardous wastes received at the facility. Finally, control measures will be put in place to reduce run-off of contaminated water from the facility which includes a 2.5 mile long cinder bank that was generated over the life of the facility. ### 95-453