Just how much pollution did a company in southeast Philadelphia dump into the city sewer system? More than it cared to show, according to charges by U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger.
Nupro Industries Corporation, located by the Port Richmond neighborhood, allegedly disguised the amount of pollutants by watering down the wastewater samples it submitted for testing, the indictment states.
Nupro, which has been in business since 1873, manufactures oils by mixing soaps with sulfuric acid. It also makes esters, which generate hazardous substances such as xylene and ethylbenzene.
The city’s wastewater treatment facilities are not designed for these kinds of industrial pollutants, being set up only for more conventional sewage. Nupro was supposed to remove much of its own pollutants through carbon filtration.
The company had to submit representative samples of its industrial waste-water so monitors could test for things such as ethylbenzene and the acid pH.
But from November 2006 to June 2007, Nupro and its director of operations – Peter Shtompil, 49, of Mt. Pleasant, S.C. – allegedly diluted the samples, rendering them non-representative, and making the company appear to be in compliance with the pollutant limits, the indictment states.
If convicted, Nupro faces one to five years’ probation, and a fine of $500,000. Shtompil faces up to two years in prison.