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For Release: Tuesday, April 9, 2013

DEC Finalizes Consent Order With Hillcrest Industries

$100,000 Penalty Dedicated to Attica Community Environmental Benefit Project

Under the terms of a Consent Order, Hillcrest Industries will establish a $100,000 fund to be used for an Environmental Benefit Project (EBP) in the Village of Attica and will undertake a number of pollution control measures for violations of state environmental standards over the past year, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today.

The Order requires Hillcrest to reduce facility emissions, comply with a remedial schedule, fund environmental monitoring services to be performed by a third party contractor and designate an employee as an on-site Environmental Compliance Officer. The Order also prohibits Hillcrest from accepting additional coal slag and requires that all materials on site be properly processed and stored. An additional $300,000 penalty is suspended, provided Hillcrest is timely in complying with the Order and adheres to the remedial schedule. Hillcrest Industries manufactures abrasive blasting media and recycled glass material at its facility in the Village of Attica, Wyoming County.

"The Consent Order includes a lengthy list of requirements to bring the facility into full compliance and address environmental concerns," DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said. "With the Environmental Benefit Project, the community will be able to enjoy improvements to the Village's pool and playground as a direct result of this Order. DEC will continue to closely monitor this facility to ensure compliance with the Order and environmental laws and regulations."

The EBP will fund improvements to the pool and replacement of playground equipment located in Veterans Memorial Park in the Village of Attica.

Some of the highlights of the Order and measures already taken by Hillcrest include:

Emission Improvements: Hillcrest is required to:
- maintain the building under negative pressure to prevent emissions from escaping, vent all emissions through acceptable emission control devices and install filtration systems on both glass bead furnaces.
- perform daily inspections and repair all dust control equipment to prevent dust emissions. Observations to date indicate that emissions from the facility have been reduced significantly. A stack test to demonstrate compliance will take place this summer.

Proper Storage and Processing of Materials: Hillcrest has taken several actions to date in response to DEC's enforcement efforts, including processing the piles of recyclable material and permanently closing some petroleum bulk storage (PBS) tanks which reduced the site's total PBS capacity to less than 1,100 gallons. Approximately half of the coal slag pile was shipped offsite. Hillcrest is prohibited from accepting coal slag and will cover all coal slag stored on site. The company will:
- submit a plan for proper storage and processing of all materials at the site;
- evaluate the landfill cap on Westinghouse's closed foundry sand landfill located at the Hillcrest facility;
- remediate the cap if necessary; and
- remove all glass, paper and plastic from the Attica Sand and Gravel pit.

Environmental Compliance Monitoring: Under the terms of the Order, Hillcrest will fund environmental monitoring services to be performed by a third party contractor, who will oversee compliance monitoring to ensure compliance with the Order; perform inspections and provide reports to DEC. In addition, Hillcrest will designate an employee as an Environmental Compliance Officer.

Freshwater Wetland Adjacent Area Improvements: The Order requires Hillcrest to:
- remove any material placed in the adjacent area of Freshwater Wetland AT-6;
- fence and label the boundary of the adjacent area; and
- plant trees and shrubs in the disturbed areas.

Management of Stormwater Runoff: Hillcrest will continue to comply with the Interim Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (Interim SWPPP) and will apply for a Multi-Sector General Permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Industrial Activity which will replace the Interim SWPPP.

Last year, a pile containing glass fragments mixed with plastic and paper generated from household recycling that Hillcrest used to make sandblasting materials and reflective glass beads became a major source of odors. At first, the odors in the pile were generated by decaying food residue which had adhered to the glass and plastic. As this activity continued, the material began to heat and smolder, creating new odors due to the paper and plastic within the pile being consumed.

At DEC's request, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency inspected the site and took the lead on efforts to extinguish the fire inside the pile of plastic, glass and other recycled materials at the Hillcrest Industries facility. Under EPA oversight, Hillcrest hired a contractor to break down the piles of material and extinguish the fire. Hillcrest spent more than $1 million on its efforts to control the odors, excavate the piles, and extinguish the fire.

After the fire was extinguished in October 2012, Hillcrest cooperated with DEC to address other issues at the plant. DEC will continue to work with Hillcrest to ensure that Hillcrest meets its on-going obligations under the Environmental Conservation Law.

Additional background information, including a copy of the Consent Order, can be found on DEC's website.

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