Aug 24, 2018

EPA Settles With Former Firework Manufacturer Over Industrial Waste

The 55-acre site was used for the disposal of wastes generated from an explosives manufacturing facility

Firework manufacturer settles over industrial wastewater contamination
Firework manufacturer settles over industrial wastewater contamination

The U.S. EPA announced a settlement to recover $11.75 million in past costs associated with the investigation and cleanup of Elkton Firehole Site in Elkton, Md., which was formerly used for the disposal of waste from the manufacture of fireworks and military explosives.

Under terms of the proposed consent decree, Honeywell Intl. and Mack Trucks Inc. will reimburse the government $5.5 million and the U.S. on behalf of the settling federal agencies (Army, Navy and the U.S. Department of Defense) will pay $6.25 million.

The 55-acre site at 183 Zeitler Road about two miles north of Elkton was used for the disposal of wastes generated from an explosives manufacturing facility during and just after World War II.

Triumph manufactured fireworks at the facility beginning in 1933 and expanded in a few years to also manufacture munitions and explosives for the Army and Navy. Waste was collected in drums and disposed of in trench-like areas referred to as fireholes, which were scattered across the site.

Honeywell and Mack Trucks are successors to Triumph Ind. Inc. and its successors, who were the former owners and operators of the site. The Army and Navy were also alleged former operators at the site.

The agreement was reached under the federal Superfund law–formally known as the Comprehensive Environmental Responsibility, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)–which requires landowners, waste generators and waste transporters responsible for contaminating a Superfund site to clean up the site, or reimburse the government or other parties for cleanup activities.

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