The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced that PPG Industries has signed a settlement agreement, which includes a $1.2 million civil penalty, for environmental violations at its Ford City Disposal Site where toxic pollution from its glass manufacturing plant flowed into the Allegheny River. As part of the consent order and agreement, PPG also will have cleanup and treatment obligations for the leachate discharge.

In April 2018, a judge found PPG liable for the pollution at its former solid waste disposal area (SWDA) and slurry lagoon area (SLA) near its glass manufacturing plant in Ford City, Pa. The waste areas were used for various periods of time from the 1920s until 1970.

“The approximately 70-acre SLA contains three lagoons constructed within a former sandstone quarry that were used by PPG to dispose of glass polishing slurry waste generated at its nearby glass manufacturing plant located in Ford City. The approximately 18-acre SWDA and Annex was used by PPG to dispose of glass cullet and other solid wastes generated at the same facility. In 1972, PPG sold the site to Ford City for $1.00 for use as a recreational facility. No such facilities were constructed, and site access has been—and will continue to be—restricted,” reads a statement from the DEP.

According to the judge’s opinion in April 2018, it was demonstrated sufficiently that the conditions at the SWDA may pose an imminent and substantial endangerment to health and the environment, including high pH seeps and metal contamination.

To treat these issues, PPG submitted an Act 2 Cleanup Plan that was approved by the DEP. Within 180 days of completing the plan, including full implementation of the leachate collection and treatment systems, PPG must submit a final report to the DEP pursuant to Act 2, Pennsylvania’s Land Recycling Program.

Editor’s Note: In 2016, Vitro Architectural Glass purchased the assets of PPG’s glass division, but the agreement did not include assumption of liability for the former Ford City glass plant.