CLEVELAND -- Attorney General Mike DeWine and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency confirmed that Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Cassandra Collier-Williams has ordered Gray Container LLC, of Cleveland, and its affiliates to pay $1.05 million for hazardous waste and air pollution violations caused by the chemical drum reconditioning business.
The business is located within a half of a block of residences, a park, and a church in East Cleveland.
DeWine had asked for a default judgment against Gray Container LLC, L Gray Barrel & Drum Co., Lomack Drum Co., Lomack Drum & Container Co., Inc., Lomack Gray, and Kenneth Gray.
The judgment requires the defendants to pay an $863,200 civil penalty for hazardous waste violations and a $187,100 civil penalty for air pollution violations.
It also orders them to evaluate all wastes at the drum reconditioning facility at 2800, 2818, and 2820 E. 90th St. in Cleveland, remove all wastes that are hazardous wastes, and implement an Ohio EPA closure plan for all areas of the facility where hazardous wastes were stored, treated, or disposed.
In 2009, the Ohio Attorney General's Office filed a lawsuit against Gray Container and the related companies and individuals who operated the business.
Throughout the property, Ohio EPA inspectors had found numerous containers of unidentified wastes, later determined to be hazardous waste, and air pollution stemming from its incinerator.
The lawsuit charged the defendants with allowing improperly controlled emissions from an incinerator to be discharged into the open air, operating a hazardous waste facility without a permit, and unlawfully storing and disposing of hazardous waste.
Also as a result of these violations, Kenneth Gray and two of his companies were found guilty in 2009 of criminal violations of Ohio's hazardous waste laws. A copy of the judgment is available on the Ohio Attorney General's website.
"This judgment shows that violating Ohio's environmental laws is serious and won't go unpunished," DeWine said. "We will continue to work with the Ohio EPA to pursue violators and help protect the health and safety of Ohio families."