PITTSBURGH, April 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The following statement was issued by
Thomas McKnight, Chief Operating Officer of Neville Chemical Company:
Neville Chemical Company and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP) today have reached a settlement of a civil action which the
DEP filed in October 2003 before the Environmental Hearing Board (EHB), for an
assessment of more than $17 million in civil penalties against Neville.
In settling this case, DEP and Neville agreed that the Company would
invest $2 million for equipment and processes that will greatly improve our
in-plant wastewater collection and treatment system.
The agreement recognizes our responsibilities and our continuing
commitment to operate within the regulations set down by state and federal
agencies, while vigorously working to remediate contaminated groundwater under
the plant, that resulted from operating practices conducted decades ago.
Neville and the DEP have worked very closely since 1999 when Neville
requested that the DEP approve an Act 2 (also called "Brownfield" legislation)
site wide groundwater remediation plan. The groundwater problems surrounding
our plant resulted from legal and accepted practices that took place 30 to 80
years ago. In fact, environmental regulations did not impact our industry
until the 1970's and later.
It has always been our intention to address our environmental challenges
in the most comprehensive and efficient ways possible. We believe that we have
always responded quickly and effectively when problems arose.
Neville and the DEP have produced an excellent remediation plan for the
entire Neville plant site, which the DEP approved in December 2003. We have
been working in close cooperation with them since then in implementing that
The release of oil caused by the shutdown of a cooling water well in
December 2001, which was the subject matter of the pending litigation, was an
accident that had little to do with the Act 2 project that Neville and the DEP
were developing. With the settlement, this litigation can now be put behind
In arriving at a negotiated settlement of this case, we believe the DEP
recognized that long-term, positive solutions would occur only when
investments are made in technologies and processes at our plant. This
agreement will allow Neville to direct our resources to those investments.
We congratulate DEP Secretary Kathleen McGinty for taking a broad and
progressive view of this conflict that led to an agreement that satisfies the
department's responsibility to enforce regulations while allowing Neville to
perform an environmental project at the plant site which will enhance
Neville's environmental capabilities.
Similarly, we recognize the positive role played by John DeFazio,
Director, United Steelworkers of America (USWA), Charles Leonard, Staff
Representative, USWA, and Ron Marino, local president USWA, in encouraging
both sides to negotiate and achieve a positive solution. These labor leaders
acted in the best interests of their members, Neville and the community at
large, and we thank them.
And, Lieutenant Governor Catherine Baker Knoll, Allegheny County Executive
Dan Onorato and their respective staffs added their voices encouraging
negotiations, also recognizing the importance of a solution that would protect
the environment and encourage economic development.
Today, Neville is proud of the fact that a workable and comprehensive Act
2 program to deal with contamination in the groundwater under the plant has
been underway for more than a year.
Neville's management and employees cannot emphasize enough our
satisfaction with how these issues have been resolved and our commitment to
moving forward in positive ways for the good of all concerned.
SOURCE Neville Chemical Company