The former owner of a New Jersey drum reconditioning company owes $4.2 million in restitution after pleading guilty to illegally storing hazardous waste, a U.S. district judge ruled last week.
Thomas Toy, 75, of Elmer, New Jersey, charged with one count of storing hazardous waste in violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, also faces 30 days in prison.
By outward appearances, Toy’s company, Superior Barrel and Drum, cleaned and reconditioned steel and plastic drums obtained from industrial customers after use. The site is partially located in a federally protected wetland and is surrounded by densely forested or marshy areas.
Between September 2013 and September 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency evaluated Superior’s facility and found nearly 1,800 containers of waste varying from 275-gallon totes to 55-gallon drums. Containers were found to be leaking, exposed to weather, rusted, damaged and stored improperly.
Closer inspection found that the waste included volatile organic compounds, heavy metals and other contaminants classified as hazardous. Superior did not hold a permit as required under RCRA.
EPA designated the 5.5-acre property in Elk Township a Superfund site. The direct cost to EPA for the removal, treatment and disposal of the hazardous waste totaled more than $4.2 million.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Renee Bumb sentenced Toy to three years of supervised release.