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Honeywell Fined 11.8 Million Dollars For Environmental Violations






     In March of 2011 the corporate giant Honeywell International Inc registered a guilty plea during a case against them in a federal court located in Benton, Illinois. The corporation was charged with one criminal felony that stated they had intentionally stored toxic waste without obtaining the proper permits. This action violated the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The same day they pleaded guilty they were also sentenced and in addition they will be required to pay a criminal fine. The company knowingly put the lives of their workers and surrounding communities in harms way. The chemicals that were illegally stored included radioactive materials. As a result the company will be paying an eleven point eight million dollar fine.

Prosecutors of the case and representatives from the Environmental Protection agency expressed their happiness with the out come of the case. Some expressed that they were glad to see a corporation required to answer for dishonest and potentially dangerous business practices. The assistant attorney general for one of the environmental agencies involved in the suit told reporters that "All companies who generate hazardous waste must have a permit… (The companies) must comply with (RCRA) requirements or they will be prosecuted".

The company involved in the lawsuit is a corporation registered in Delaware and their headquarters are in North of there in Morristown, NJ. The Honeywell Corporation owns a conversion plant for processing uranium hexafluoride and which is located in the Massac County, Illinois close to the Ohio River. This Honeywell plant is the only facility located in the United States that is capable of converting natural uranium into uranium hexafluoride and which is also is a common material used in nuclear fuel rods.

The process used to convert the natural uranium produces toxic air emissions. These emissions are scrubbed before they are released using potassium hydroxide. During this scrubbing process the equipment is often covered in a byproduct that contains uranium compounds. These toxic uranium compounds are pumped out of the plant and stored in large 55 gallon drums. The sludge in the drums is referred to as KOH mud. The pH of this mud is higher than 12.5 which is a level that is very dangerous to humans and wildlife.

The company is accused of not following proper procedures when they shut down their reclamation process in November of 2002. The company was aware that the pH level of the KOH mud was high enough to classify it as a corrosive and hazardous waste which meant that the company needed a permit to keep the waste at the facility for more than a ninety day period. Since the company had closed all off site reclamation facilities they decided to keep the toxic waste at the plant without the proper permits.

The company did make an extension request for some of the drums stored at the facility and were granted permission by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to continue onsite storage but only in proper storage areas designed to prevent spills. When the EPA executed a search warrant for the facility in April of 2009 agents reported the illegal storage of somewhere near 7,500 drums of toxic KOH mud.

Find out more about Environmental Insurance for Manufacturers and how Beacon Hill Associates can help you.

Find out more about Environmental Insurance for Manufacturers http://www.b-h-a.com/products-pollution and how Beacon Hill Associates can help you http://www.b-h-a.com/Home.aspx.




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Find out more about Environmental Insurance for Manufacturers and how Beacon Hill Associates can help you.


Posted on 2012-09-07, By: *

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