Penn. DEP orders company to clean industrial discharge line

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has ordered Exide Technologies of Reading, PA, to clean and maintain an industrial wastewater discharge line that resulted in unpermitted discharges from the city's stormwater system. Lime deposits inside the discharge pipe have shrunk the internal diameter, causing backups that overflow the system. Under the order issued, Exide must complete the line cleanout by March 10 or face fines of up to $10,000 per day per future violation...

• Company faces possible fines if it fails to meet March 10 deadline

HARRISBURG, PA, Feb. 27, 2008 -- The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has ordered Exide Technologies of Reading, PA, to clean and maintain an industrial wastewater discharge line that resulted in unpermitted discharges from the city's stormwater system.

Lime deposits inside the discharge pipe have shrunk the internal diameter, causing backups that overflow the system.

"Exide had previously committed to having the entire line cleaned by Dec. 31, 2007," said Rachel Diamond, DEP's south central regional director. "That deadline has not been met."

Four unpermitted discharges occurred between July 2006 and August 2007. After the last discharge, the department issued Exide a notice of violation requesting the company submit a schedule to complete a line cleanout. Exide responded that the pipe would be cleaned by the end of 2007. The department inspected the discharge line in Feb. and found evidence of solids that indicated the line cleaning was not completed.

Under the order issued today, Exide must complete the line cleanout by March 10. If the company fails to comply with the order and causes an overflow of the line, the department may assess fines of up to $10,000 per day per violation.

DEP issued Exide a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System operating permit, effective Jan. 1. As a condition of the permit, Exide is required to inspect all manholes in the discharge line from the wastewater treatment plant outfall to the City of Reading's storm sewer connection point on a monthly basis.

If evidence of solid deposits are found in any manhole or piping connected to the manhole, the solids must be removed within seven days. Exide has appealed the permit.

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