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EPA FILES COMPLAINT AGAINST RECLAIM BARREL

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a $488,750 penalty against a former West Jordan drum recycling company.

The federal complaint, announced Tuesday, claims Reclaim Barrel Co. violated several hazardous waste standards and orders the company to discontinue any on-site storage or disposal of hazardous waste."Soil and groundwater are contaminated at the 1-acre former drum recycling site from years of spills, leaks and improper disposal of acids, solvents, heavy metals and oily waste," said Mindy Mohr, EPA spokeswoman in Denver.

The complaint accuses the company of illegally storing and disposing of hazardous waste and failing to notify the EPA or Utah's Department of Environmental Quality that it was handling hazardous waste.

The EPA also alleges that Reclaim Barrel did not label and maintain the containers holding hazardous waste and operated underground tanks without ways to detect leaks.

Mohr said the company has not been operational since 1992. The former owner and operator, Ray F. McCune, did not return telephone messages.

He now owns a similar Salt Lake company called Allstate Container Inc., which also was notified by the state in March of waste management violations, said Don Verbica, environmental manager with the Department Of Environmental Quality.

The issues of the notice have not been resolved, although McCune has responded to the notice, Verbica said.

The EPA investigated Reclaim Barrel in August 1993 at the state's request, but it has not taken any enforcement action, Mohr said.

Last September, she said, McCune did install a temporary fence and later agreed to clean up the site. But according to the EPA, the cleanup plan McCune submitted was insufficient.