The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced a settlement with Heritage-Crystal Clean LLC over alleged violations of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act at the company’s Indianapolis facility. EPA officials say the company has paid a penalty of $38,221 and conducted a supplemental environmental project to replace lead-contaminated windows at residential homes.

“We must ensure that facilities are complying with required annual reporting of what chemicals they use and what they are releasing into the environment,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator Debra Shore. “People have a right to know about any toxic chemicals in their communities, especially those that are already overburdened by pollution.”

The EPA alleges Heritage-Crystal Clean, a petroleum lubricating oil and grease manufacturer, violated the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act by failing to submit required annual reports for toxic chemicals it manufactured, processed or otherwise used in quantities above reporting thresholds. Specifically, the company failed to submit timely reports for 1, 2, 4-trimethylbenzene, ethylbenzene, toluene, xylene, naphthalene, chlorobenzene, lead, polychorinated biphenyls, molybdenum trioxide, and nickel compounds, and to retain documentation for three years.

As part of the 2019 settlement with EPA, the company also replaced 129 windows suspected to present lead-based paint hazards in Indianapolis neighborhoods with environmental justice concerns. Heritage-Crystal Clean spent approximately $191,000 to complete the project.

Heritage-Crystal Clean’s facility is in an industrial area EPA identified as potentially having high pollution and socioeconomic burdens. EPA is strengthening enforcement in such communities to address disproportionately high human health or environmental effects of industrial operations on vulnerable populations.

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