Camden, NJ—The former president and CEO of Concord Chemical Co. Inc. today admitted illegally storing hazardous waste at its Camden facility, U.S Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Miguel Castillo, 63, of Hilton Head, South Carolina, pleaded guilty before Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez to one count of storing hazardous waste at Concord’s Camden facility at 1700 Federal St. in violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act [RCRA].
Castillo was Concord’s president or CEO from at least 2004 through August 2011, and knowingly stored hazardous waste at Concord's Camden facility without a permit from 2005 to 2010.
During its operation, Concord manufactured, repackaged and distributed a wide variety of chemical products, including cresylic acid, soaps, waxes, pipe lubricants and emulsions. Some of Concord’s products and the raw materials used to make them were hazardous, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
According to court documents, in both 2004 and 2005, Concord employees tried to remove the barrels of hazardous material from the basement of the Camden facility. Castillo stopped both efforts before they were completed, claiming Concord could not afford the cost of removing the barrels.
In August 2010, the EPA conducted a site visit of the Camden facility and discovered that the facility was abandoned, and filled with drums containing corrosive and ignitable hazardous waste. From October 2010 through March 2011, the EPA removed the hazardous substances from the facility.
RCRA was enacted in 1976 to address a growing nationwide problem with industrial and municipal waste. RCRA was designed to protect human health and the environment by prohibiting the treatment, storage or disposal of any hazardous waste without a permit.
The illegal storage of hazardous waste charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gain or loss caused by the offense. Castillo’s sentencing is set for Sept. 10, 2018.