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Re: Feds suing scrap metal recycler for hazardous waste clean-up in Jersey City.
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The EPA should 'sniff' around the recycling plant at the end of Jersey Ave - they should take a walk around the shore line at the marina behind the plant and take water and soil samples for testing.
Hopefully everthing is ok, but I have my doubts!

Posted on: 2007/5/18 14:21
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Feds suing scrap metal recycler for hazardous waste clean-up in Jersey City.
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Feds suing Bergenfield scrap metal recycler

The Record

Thursday, May 17, 2007

By PETER J. SAMPSON
STAFF WRITER

NEWARK -- The federal government is suing a Bergenfield scrap metal recycler and 14 other companies to collect $5.3 million it spent on a hazardous waste clean-up in Jersey City.

The Environmental Protection Agency says the companies contributed to hazardous wastes released at the Jersey City site of Pittsburgh Metals & Equipment, which reprocessed linotype metals for the printing industry and other metals for commercial clients from 1963 to 1998.

An EPA investigation begun in 1997 uncovered contamination of soil and an adjacent creek with lead, cadmium, antimony, beryllium, copper, nickel, silver, zinc and polychlorinated biphenyls - or PCBs. Over the next four years, the agency spent $5.3 million to remove the wastes.

It also recovered invoices, bills and other records indicating that the 15 defendants or their predecessors had done business with the company.

The Justice Department filed suit in U.S. District Court this week on behalf of the EPA, alleging the companies failed to provide timely information about their business transactions with Pittsburgh Metals & Equipment.

EPA officials contacted Bergen Metals/Bergen Recycling Inc. in September 2002 and gave it 30 days to comply, the suit says. However, it alleges the company has yet to provide a complete response.

Owner Edward Montefarrario said Thursday that he was unaware of the suit. His small scrap metal company has tried to work with federal authorities, he said.

Montefarrario also said his company no longer has records from 10 to 15 years ago, when it is alleged to have sent a truckload of lead to the site.

The EPA made a settlement offer, he said, but "we weren't up to that yet."

"We weren't sure that we even sent the load that they claim they had the ticket for, because it was the company's copy," he said. "They could put my name down any time they wanted."

The government is proposing settlements with 12 defendants that eventually responded. Under the agreement, they would pay civil fines ranging from $200 to $3,720 but not admit any liability.

The suit seeks civil penalties of $32,500 per day for the untimely responses and an injunction requiring the three companies that have not yet done so ? Bergen Metals, Julissa Printing of New York City and Miller Yacht Sales of Toms River -- to supply the requested information within 60 days.

E-mail: sampson@northjersey.com

Posted on: 2007/5/18 13:56
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