A federal judge in Kansas City, Kan., on Thursday ordered a chemical company to pay a $1.5 million fine after it pleaded guilty to storing hazardous wastes without a permit, prosecutors said.
Harcros Chemicals Inc., 5200 Speaker Road in Kansas City, Kan., admitted that from May 2006 through January 2009 it stored several waste chemicals without a required permit. The chemicals included phosgene solution, ethylenediamine, 1,4-dioxane, butyl acrylate, acrylic acid and methacrylate.
“The defendant’s illegal storage practices threatened groundwater supplies and put employees and the public at serious risk,” Michael Burnett, special agent in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency’s criminal enforcement program in Kansas, said in a written statement.
The company issued a statement saying six of the chemicals “were stored for use in laboratories for testing and one was an unused chemical product, which had been stored safely for many years.”
Harcros said the chemicals were kept in cabinets and storage areas for potential future use.
“Shortly after a 2008 regulatory inspection, the chemicals were properly disposed off-site,” the company said in an email. “None of the chemicals at issue were released into the environment, nor were any employees at risk.”
Harcros also said the fines “will not adversely impact the company’s financial position.”
“We have fully cooperated with the government during its investigation and we are pleased that this agreement resolves the matter raised several years ago,” Kevin Mirner, Harcros’ president and chief executive officer, said in the email.