Pipe Manufacturer McWane Slapped with $4 Million Penalty

July 14, 2010
Settlement resolves more than 400 environmental violations in 14 states, EPA says.

Birmingham, Ala.-based McWane Inc., a manufacturer of cast iron pipes, has agreed to pay a $4 million civil penalty to resolve more than 400 violations of federal and state environmental laws, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Justice Department and the states of Alabama and Iowa announced July 14.

The proposed settlement, which includes 28 manufacturing facilities in 14 states, also requires the company to perform seven environmental projects valued at $9.1 million, and is subject to a 30-day public comment period and approval by a federal court.

The settlement addresses violations of numerous laws, including the Clean Air Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and the Toxic Substances Control Act.

In addition, McWane was required to develop and implement a corporatewide environmental management system, which has been completed, and must further conduct an audit to evaluate the adequacy of the system, according to a news release. As further components of the settlement, McWane has modified its storm water-pollution prevention plan and will upgrade facility-specific plans.

This is a comprehensive settlement that brings McWane into full environmental compliance at 28 facilities nationwide, and imposes a penalty on the company for its civil environmental violations at those facilities over the past decade, said Ignacia S. Moreno, assistant attorney general for the Justice Departments Environment and Natural Resources Division.

The seven environmental projects will address storm water contamination at numerous locations, the EPA said, as well as reduce mercury emissions in Provo, Utah, and Tyler, Texas; reduce volatile organic compounds emissions in Bedford, Ind., and Anniston, Ala.; and enhance air quality in Coshocton, Ohio.

In addition, the environmental agency said McWane already had performed corrective actions at a cost in excess of $7.6 million.

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