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McWane, Inc. Settlement
(Washington, DC - July 14, 2010) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Justice Department, and the states of Alabama and Iowa announced that McWane Inc., a national cast iron pipe manufacturer headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., has agreed to pay $4 million to resolve more than 400 violations of federal and state environmental laws. The settlement, filed in federal court today, covers 28 of McWane's manufacturing facilities in 14 states and also requires the company to perform seven environmental projects valued at $9.1 million.
On this page:
- Overview of Company and Facility Locations
- Injunctive Relief
- Pollutant Reductions
- Health and Environmental Benefits
- Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs)
- Civil Penalty
- State Partners
- Comment Period
- Separate Criminal Enforcement Actions
McWane, Inc. is a corporation organized under the laws of Delaware, with corporate headquarters in Birmingham, Ala. McWane's primary products include cast iron pipe, valves, fittings, fire hydrants, propane and compressed air tanks, and other similar products.
The United States has entered into a civil judicial Consent Decree resolving over 400 civil violations at McWane-operated facilities in 14 states:
|Amerex Corporation||Scotch Plains||N.J.|
|Atlantic States Cast Iron Pipe Co.||Phillipsburg||N.J.|
|Clow Valve Company||Oskaloosa||Iowa|
|Clow Water Systems Company||Coshocton||Ohio|
|Empire Coke Company Dilworth Mine||Sipsey||Ala.|
|Empire Coke Company Dilworth Washer||Sipsey||Ala.|
|Empire Coke Company Rice Chapel Mine||Sipsey||Ala.|
|Empire Coke Company||Tuscaloosa||Ala|
|Empire Coke Company Sipsey Mine||Birmingham||Ala.|
|Kennedy Valve Company||Elmira||N.Y.|
|Manchester Tank Company||Bedford||Ind.|
|Manchester Tank Company||Crossville||Tenn.|
|Manchester Tank Company||Elkhart||Ind.|
|Manchester Tank Company||Hannibal||Mo.|
|Manchester Tank Company||Lubbock||Texas|
|Manchester Tank Company||Petersburg||Va.|
|Manchester Tank Company||Quincy||Ill.|
|M&H Valve Company||Anniston||Ala.|
|M&H Valve Company Landfill||Anniston||Ala.|
|Mitrisin Disposal Site||Oskaloosa||Iowa|
|Pacific States Cast Iron Pipe Company||Provo||Utah|
|Tyler Pipe Company,||Macungie||Pa.|
|Tyler Pipe Company||Marshfield||Mo.|
|Tyler Pipe Company||Tyler||Texas|
McWane agreed to a Consent Decree resolving over 300 civil violations of the following federal laws:
- Clean Air Act (CAA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 7475, 7661a, 7661b, 7661c, 7671g
- Clean Water Act (CWA), 33 U.S.C. §§ 1311, 1342, and 1321
- Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 6921-6939e
- Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 11001, 11002, 11003, 11004, 11022, and 11023
- Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), 42 U.S.C. § 9603
- Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 300g and 300h
- Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), 15 U.S.C. § 2605
McWane corrected the majority of the violations that are the subject of this settlement. The Consent Decree requires McWane to complete additional corrective measures.
Completed Corrective Measures
- All Facilities: McWane developed and implemented a comprehensive and corporate-wide Environmental Management System (EMS) designed to ensure continued future compliance with environmental requirements at all of its facilities. The EMS has built-in continuous improvement components and was designed with assistance from EPA's National Enforcement Investigations Center (NEIC).
- All Facilities: To address systemic non-compliance relating to the CWA stormwater requirements, McWane revised its EMS, rewrote its corporate-wide guidance and implemented updated facility-specific operating procedures relating to stormwater management and control, and has committed to revising each facility-specific Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). As part of its revised corporate-wide SWPPP improvements, McWane has agreed to a sampling and monitoring regime that exceeds federally mandated compliance requirements.
- All Facilities: Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) plans have been reviewed and updated as required. Employee training programs have been implemented, and secondary containment has been installed where required.
- All Facilities: McWane has developed and implemented employee training programs to ensure proper management of hazardous and universal wastes.
Corrective Measures Required By Consent Decree
- Union Foundry Facility, Anniston, Ala. and Clow Water Facility, Coshocton, Ohio: McWane shall conduct an audit of the implementation of the EMS at the Union Foundry Facility and at the Clow Water Facility in Coshocton, Ohio, to identify and evaluate program gaps following EPA's Compliance Focused Environmental Management System (CFEMS) guidance.
- Clow Water Facility, Coshocton, Ohio: McWane shall operate and monitor the cupola furnace at the Clow Water Facility in Coshocton in compliance with the conditions in the Ohio EPA Permit to Install (Permit #06-07432) and Appendix 3 (CAA Compliance Measures at Clow Water Systems, Coshocton, Ohio) of the Consent Decree. For example, the Consent Decree provides that emissions of particulate matter (PM) from the exhaust stack for the cupola furnace shall not exceed 0.078 lbs per ton of molten iron produced.
- All Facilities: Where any compliance obligation requires McWane to obtain a federal, state, or local permit or approval, McWane shall submit timely and complete applications and take all other actions necessary to obtain all such permits or approvals.
As a result of this settlement, McWane will reduce the following pollutants by the amounts below:
|Air Pollutants||Tons per Year (tpy)|
|Particulate Matter (PM)||70.00|
|Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)||60.00|
|Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD)||231.00|
|Total Suspended Solids (TSS)||1,245.00|
As a result of this settlement, McWane will properly dispose of the following wastes by the amounts below:
|Wastes Disposed||Tons per Year (tpy)|
|Used oil recycled||24.00|
|Aerosol cans disposed||0.41|
The air pollutants reduced under this settlement are known to have numerous adverse, significant environmental and health effects. These reductions will benefit the environment and the health of persons living near McWane facilities as well as in downwind areas.
- Particulate Matter - Particulate matter, especially fine particles, contains microscopic solids or liquid droplets that are so small that they can get deep into the lungs and cause serious health problems. Particulate matter is linked to a variety of problems, including increased respiratory symptoms such as irritation of the airways, coughing, or difficulty breathing, decreased lung function, aggravated asthma, and premature death in people with heart or lung disease.
- Volatile Organic Compounds: VOCs, along with NOx, play a major role in the atmospheric reactions that produce ozone, which is the primary constituent of smog. People with lung disease, children, older adults, and people who are active can be affected when ozone levels are unhealthy. Ground-level ozone exposure is linked to a variety of short-term health problems, including lung irritation and difficulty breathing, as well as long-term problems, such as permanent lung damage from repeated exposure, aggravated asthma, reduced lung capacity, and increased susceptibility to respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia and bronchitis.
- Mercury: Mercury, when breathed as a vapor, can be absorbed through the lungs. Symptoms of mercury exposure include tremors, emotional changes (e.g., mood swings, irritability, nervousness, excessive shyness), neuromuscular changes (such as weakness, muscle atrophy, twitching), and adverse cognitive function, among other impacts. At higher exposures there may be kidney effects, respiratory failure and death.
- Stormwater Pollutants: Discharges of stormwater runoff can have a significant impact on water quality. Several studies reveal that stormwater runoff from urban areas can include a variety of pollutants, such as sediment, bacteria, organic nutrients, hydrocarbons, metals, oil and grease.
- PCBs: PCBs have been shown to cause cancer in animals. PCBs have also been shown to cause a number of serious non-cancer health effects in animals, including effects on the immune system, reproductive system, nervous system, endocrine system and other health effects.
This settlement will require McWane to expend no less than $9,154,050 to implement the following SEPs:
- Mercury emissions reduction projects - Provo, Utah and Tyler, Texas
Install control technology to reduce mercury emissions at foundries.
- VOC emissions reduction projects - Bedford, Ind. and Anniston, Ala.
Convert wet paint spray booths to powder coatings to reduce VOC emissions by sixty tons per year.
- Diesel emissions reduction projects - Coshocton, Ohio
Retrofit diesel engines to reduce emissions.
- Water quality improvement projects - Chemung Sub-Basin, N.Y. (Chesapeake Bay headwaters) and North Birmingham, Ala.
Implement measures to protect Chemung River sub-basin and headwaters of Chesapeake Bay from agricultural pollutants. Develop a thirty-eight acre stormwater management park to reduce flooding in North Birmingham, Ala.
McWane will pay a $4 million penalty to be distributed as follows:
- $3,472,789 will go to the U.S. Treasury
- $91,467 will go to the Oil Spill Trust Fund
- $10,941 will go to the Hazardous Substance Trust Fund
- Alabama will receive $332,000
- Iowa will receive $92,803
Alabama and Iowa are co-plaintiffs.
The proposed settlement, to be lodged in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval. Information on submitting comments is available at the Department of Justice website.
In the past, multiple McWane divisions and facilities have been the subject of criminal investigations that have resulted in five federal prosecutions at the following facilities:
- Pacific States Cast Iron Pipe Company - Provo, Utah
- McWane Union Foundry - Anniston, Ala.
- McWane Cast Iron Pipe Company - Birmingham, Ala.
- Tyler Pipe Company - Tyler, Tex.
- Atlantic States Cast Iron Pipe, Phillipsburg, N.J.
McWane executives have also been sentenced to prison terms of up to 70 months and the company and certain executives have been placed on probation.
To learn more about EPA's McWane criminal cases please read McWane Convictions Summary.
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