EPA, state regulators sue 17 companies over Superfund site costs

| Friday, Nov. 9, 2012, 4:46 p.m.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of Environtmental Protection sued 17 companies in federal court on Friday to recover costs associated with cleaning up a Superfund site in Lawrence County.

A Superfund site is an uncontrolled or abandoned place where hazardous waste is located. There are more than 250 in Pennsylvania, according to the EPA.

This site in West Pittsburg, operated by Reactive Metals and Alloys Corp., or Remacor, on 45 acres, accepted magnesium shavings and scrap from customers, and processed the waste into a reagent used in steel production.

A 2005 fire on the property halted the plant's processing ability, but the company continued to accept waste, stockpiling more than 6 million pounds, much of it improperly stored, the lawsuit claims.

The EPA and state DEP paid about $10 million to remove the material in September 2006, and the lawsuit seeks reimbursement from the companies and a pledge that they will be responsible for future costs.

The companies include a dozen mostly out-of-state metal and machine manufacturers, including Black & Decker, Rolls Royce, and Johns Hopkins University.

Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 or abrandolph@tribweb.com.

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