Honeywell, Inc. has pleaded guilty to one felony count and was ordered by a federal court to pay an $11.8 million penalty for storing, without a permit, hazardous mud generated from processing uranium at an Illinois facility. United States v. Honeywell Int’l Inc., No. 11-40006 (S.D. Ill. 3/11/11). Honeywell converts uranium into uranium hexafluoride, a compound used to produce enriched uranium, at the plant. The company stored potassium hydroxide (KOH) mud in large drums without a permit, in violation of RCRA. During a 2009 inspection, EPA found nearly 7,500 illegally stored drums of KOH mud.
Under the criminal plea agreement, the company will undergo a five-year probation period, during which it must follow an interim consent order that sets a schedule for processing KOH mud. According to its probation terms, the company must also implement a community service project in the area, involving household hazardous waste collection, treatment, transport, and disposal. Honeywell settled a parallel civil investigation with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and paid a $690,000 fine. See EPA Press Release, March 11, 2011; Illinois Attorney General Press Release, March 14, 2011.