Roth agrees to upgrades, remediation

New York's Department of Environmental Conservation establishes $150,000 fine in Settlement with Syracuse steel company:

The Syracuse based company, Roth Steel, has agreed to pay a $150,000 fine and upgrade its practices to resolve alleged violations regarding solid waste, storm water runoff and air emissions. In addition, Roth is to ensure that contaminated materials do not flow into Onondaga Lake.

Adjacent to Onondaga Lake, Roth Steel Corp. runs a metal shredding business, focusing on automobiles. DEC had charged Roth with improperly disposing of solid waste and hazardous substances, failing to control storm water runoff from the facility, failing to prevent petroleum discharges and other violations. Along with the penalty, the settlement orders Roth to investigate two landfill cells that hold a material called "shredder fluff," to determine whether any contaminants are leaching into the lake. The shredder fluff (used in car interiors and upholstery) contains PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, a suspected carcinogen, as well as numerous other contaminants.

Importantly, the agreement order signed by Roth allows DEC to deal with compliance issues in a variety of regulated areas (air, water, solid waste) in one consent order.

"DEC is committed to its mission of safeguarding New York's natural resources," DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis said. "This settlement does just that, tackling a variety of violations and helping protect Onondaga Lake."

The settlement calls for a strict compliance schedule. The company must investigate the shredder fluff cells and, if there are leaks of contaminants from the cells, remove and properly dispose of the material. The company must also submit a plan by the end of January to investigate and remediate any automobile fluid discharges, as well as develop and implement plans for dealing with storm water and air emissions issues.

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