Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive


Tuesday, March 21, 2000

CORNYN SUES PYROTECHNICS MANUFACTURER FOR IMPROPER STORAGE OF TOXIC WASTE

Calls for payment of $2.62 million in penalties

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn announced today that his office has filed suit on behalf of the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission (TNRCC) against electroplating and pyrotechnics manufacturer, RTF Industries, Inc., for numerous violations involving the storage of industrial solid and hazardous waste.

"Texas is not a dumping ground for industry. Blatant disregard for the environment and the law will not be tolerated," said Attorney General Cornyn.

On March 9, a routine TNRCC inspection of the Marshall, Texas facility revealed that RTF was storing listed hazardous wastes and incompatible chemicals in leaking containers. According to investigators' reports, the poor storage and facility conditions have produced an imminent threat of fire, explosion and further release of the dangerous mix of chemicals into the environment.

Conditions described at the facility are in direct violation of a 1989 TNRCC order concerning the handling and storage of hazardous wastes and contaminated soils. Previous violations at the facility include the discharge of hazardous wastewater containing chromium, cadmium, and cyanide and the improper management of hazardous wastes including spills, and storage in improper containers, open containers, and unlabeled containers.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in Travis County District Court, seeks a temporary restraining order directing RTF to secure leaking waste containers and spills, produce a materials inventory, and restrict access to the facility. In addition, the suit calls for injunctive relief to enforce the TNRCC order and for RTF to pay approximately $2.62 million in civil and administrative penalties.

Travis County District Judge Lora Livingston granted the temporary restraining order against RTF and set a March 30 hearing on the temporary injunction. This case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Jane Atwood of the Attorney General's Natural Resources Division.

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Contact Mark Heckmann, Heather Browne, or Tom Kelley at (512) 463-2050