Housewares entered into an Agreed Order wherein it agreed to an extensive cleanup of the site and to pay IDEM a fine of $36,339. IDEM’s commissioner approved the agreement on January 19, 1990. On November 24, 1992, Housewares submitted its first proposed closure plan to IDEM. After negotiations, IDEM finally accepted a revised closure plan on September 26, 1994. Housewares continued to spend funds for monitoring and cleanup of the site up to the time of this appeal. Although Housewares submitted a closure certification report to IDEM on November 27, 1995, IDEM issued a deficiency notice on March 14, 1996. At the time of this appeal, IDEM still had not certified closure as to the site.
Housewares also owned and operated a manufacturing facility in Sidney, Ohio. On December 5, 1990, Housewares notified the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) of the possible disposal of an unknown amount of sludge, which may have contained lead, at the Sidney foundry and landfill. On February 19, 1991, the Ohio EPA inspected the site. Thereafter, on March 20, 1991, the Ohio EPA sent Housewares a letter stating that Housewares had unlawfully disposed of hazardous waste at the Sidney site. The letter listed fourteen separate violations and advised Housewares to submit a closure plan. Housewares responded by denying that it had violated any regulations. After further investigation by the Ohio EPA, Housewares entered into a final order in February 1993 requiring Housewares to close the contaminated site, determine the lead concentrations levels, submit a closure plan, and pay a fine of $30,000.