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PennEnvironment v. PPG Industries, Inc.

ELR Citation: 48 ELR 20060
Nos. 12-342, (W.D. Pa., 04/13/2018) (Mitchell, M.J.)

A district court held that a company is liable under RCRA for soil and water contamination at a former solid waste disposal area it used and operated in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. Environmental groups filed motions for partial summary judgment against the company, claiming it was liable because it generated, transported, and disposed of solid waste at the disposal area and because the disposal may present an imminent and substantial endangerment to health and the environment, including high pH seeps. The company claimed that the pH levels in the seeps are a disputed issue. Yet all the evidence, including from the state agency's investigation and the company's own sampling, shows that there are high pH levels in some of the seeps as well as metals contamination. The court ruled that the contamination may present an imminent and substantial endangerment to health or the environment, and it granted the groups' motion for summary judgment on their RCRA claim as it relates to the soils of the disposal area and the high-pH waters emanating from the disposal area seeps.