E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. has agreed to pay $1.85 million in penalties to settle a hazardous waste disposal dispute with the government, the third largest such fine ever obtained, officials said Friday.

The settlement with the Wilmington, Del., company was one of 29 hazardous waste land disposal enforcement actions announced by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice. Collectively, they would impose penalties totaling more than $5.35 million."These enforcement actions are part of a continuing nationwide campaign by EPA and the Justice Department to stop people from illegally putting hazardous wastes in the ground," EPA Administrator William K. Reilly said in a statement.

The Du Pont settlement will resolve disposal and testing violations of the ban on land disposal of hazardous wastes at the company's Chambers Works facility in Deepwater, N.J., the EPA said. That is New Jersey's largest hazardous waste treatment and disposal facility.

In addition to the $1.85 million penalty, Du Pont must perform a compliance audit to ensure that the facility and other Du Pont facilities nationwide are currently meeting the land disposal restriction requirements. Du Pont also has agreed to perform certain pollution prevention activities, the EPA said.

Richard Stewart, manager of the Chambers Works plant, said the violations dated back several years when "the EPA was promulgating some very complex laws in regard to chemicals known as land-banned chemicals."