Contact: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
DNREC Environmental Crimes Unit finds illegal storage
of hazardous materials in New Castle warehouse
NEW CASTLE (Oct. 21, 2013) – Officers from DNREC’s Environmental Crimes Unit, working with shared information from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, recently located numerous unlabeled 55-gallon drums stored in a New Castle warehouse that were later found to contain hazardous materials. The warehouse was rented to Recyclers of Delaware LLC, a company whose business address is listed as 66 Pennsgrove Pedricktown Road, Pedricktown, N.J.
DNREC’s ECU executed a search warrant in New Castle after the EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division mounted an investigation that had turned up a much larger stockpiling of hazardous material in Gloucester County, N.J. EPA’s search of the New Jersey site found more than 1,000 drums there, some of them leaking hazardous waste. The investigation there also yielded a possible link to the Recyclers of Delaware LLC warehouse in New Castle which led to DNREC’s ECU discovery of additional drums of hazardous material.
After DNREC’s ECU confirmed that the site contained hazardous materials, DNREC’s Emergency Response Team was called in to assist and to provide scientific support with the identification and classification of the suspect materials. “Preliminary results of our investigation show the presence of volatile organic compounds and flammable chemicals,” said ECU Chief James Faedtke.
Working in conjunction with DNREC Emergency Response, EPA collected and sent samples from each drum to an environmental laboratory for analysis. Once the investigation is concluded and results of sampling confirmed, legal or enforcement actions will be taken against Recyclers of Delaware LLC if warranted.
Chief Faedtke also noted that the hazardous materials in the New Castle warehouse have been secured by DNREC with assistance from EPA, and are not a threat to public health. DNREC’s Emergency Response Team worked with EPA onsite to stabilize the chemicals and prevent leakage, assuring that they pose no threat during the intervening period until DNREC takes further action and disposal of the chemicals can be arranged.
“This incident is another reminder of the important work of our Environmental Crimes Unit and Emergency Response Team," said DNREC Secretary Collin P. O’Mara. "This vital group is dedicated to serving as DNREC's first responders, protecting public health, and providing enforcement and technical expertise to a range of incidents and situations from stabilizing the chemicals in meth labs to major industrial events.”
Vol. 43, No. 406