U.S. EPA Region 5 has reached agreement with Ashland Inc. on alleged past failure to carry out a hazardous waste order at its Lansing, Michigan site. The agreement includes a $650,000 penalty, which has been paid.
Ashland, which assumed liabilities of the former Ashland Chemical Inc., and EPA resolved allegations of failure to properly implement an earlier EPA order to pump ground water and to prevent release and migration of hazardous waste from the facility into the environment, including the Grand River or the Saginaw Formation.
The required ground-water collection system was meant to begin removing contaminants, reduce or eliminate off-site flow of contaminants and provide initial aquifer restoration. At times the system did not reach specified pumping rates or did not pump at all. The violations have been corrected.
EPA and Ashland agreed that Ashland must, in addition to paying the civil penalty, maintain proper ground-water pumping rates and provide EPA with bi-monthly reports on ground water extracted.
Ashland has installed a new ground-water pumping system at the site. EPA and Ashland continue to negotiate long-term corrective action to remove risks from hazardous waste used in previous operations at the site.