Number of the Day: $725,000

December 9, 2011 | Number of The Day

The owner of one of the largest chemical plants on the East Coast has agreed to pay a second fine of $725,000 in order to settle a dispute with the state Department of Environmental Protection for mishandling of hazardous waste materials.

The Salem County plant on the Delaware River operates as a wastewater treatment plant, as well as a manufacturing facility and is operated by E.I. DuPont De Nemours & Co. DuPont was ordered to upgrade the facility in 2006 and fined $105,000, but problems started to occur again in 2008, with another 60 violations assigned. The violations include DEP citations for spills and handling problems at the plant, hazardous waste disposal landfill, drum and container storage areas, a rail siding, and an industrial wastewater treatment plant. Discharges varied in size and occurred as a result of faulty or inoperable pumps, leaking valves and gaskets, valves inadvertently left open, cracks in containment structures, and accidents.

The plant, known as Chambers Works, is located along the Delaware River on a site that traverses parts of Pennsville, Deepwater, and Carneys Point. Since operations began at the turn of the 20th century, more than 1,200 chemicals have been developed at the facility.