Chester County environmental firm’s chief charged with storing, dumping waste


Thomas J. McCaffrey, Jr., 68, of Hibernia Road, Coatesville, was charged with the illegal management of hazardous waste and unlawful conduct related to the illegal storage of hazardous waste at Cedar Grove Environmental.

The Downingtown company tests and analyzes drinking water and wastewater samples. McCaffrey is the firm’s president and laboratory manager.

“This defendant illegally stored and disposed of hazardous wastes for many years,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro stated. “Wastes were illegally poured down the drain on the company’s property. I won’t allow anyone to deliberately harm Pennsylvanians’ rights to clean air and pure water. Our Environmental Protection Section works every day to safeguard the environment in our Commonwealth.”

In December 2016, investigators discovered 250 brown and clear glass jugs labeled “TKN Waste and “COD Waste” in the basement of Cedar Grove Environmental. McCaffrey admitted the hazardous wastes – which were later tested and found to exceed the maximum regulated concentration levels for chromium, silver and mercury – had been stored in the basement for decades, the AG’s office stated.

Employees and former employees of Cedar Grove Environmental said they were instructed by McCaffrey to dispose of wastes by pouring them down the drain on company property. The company had an on-lot septic system, but the system was only designed to treat sewage — not industrial wastes.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), which worked with the Office of Attorney General on this investigation, tested the septic system and ground nearby and discovered elevated levels of mercury and silver.

DEP also determined McCaffrey knowingly provided fabricated test results, including drinking water test results. The DEP revoked Cedar Grove Environmental’s accreditation to perform water testing samples after it had previously suspended the company’s accreditation five times.

ShMcCaffrey’s bail was set at $25,000. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 12.

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