Hazardous waste

September 25, 2013

Clean Harbors Agrees to Pay Fine For Waste Oil Charges

Source: Waste Age, September 23, 2013
Posted on: http://envfpn.advisen.com

Clean Harbors Inc. has agreed to pay a $112,500 fine regarding the transporting and reporting of waste oil.

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) said in a news release that the Norwell, Mass.-based Clean Harbors agreed to the payment for allegedly transporting waste oil from unregistered facilities and submitting inaccurate reports to the DEP.

Clean Harbors also agreed to take additional steps to comply in the future with environmental laws regarding hazardous waste transportation.

According to the complaint filed in Suffolk Superior Court, Clean Harbors Environmental Services Inc. and an affiliate, Murphy’s Waste Oil Service, Woburn, Mass., accepted hazardous waste from facilities that did not have valid identification numbers nearly 500 times between April 2009 and December 2011. The complaint also alleges that on numerous occasions the companies submitted inaccurate monthly reports that listed invalid identification numbers or identification numbers that did not correspond with those listed in manifests filed with the DEP.

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April 8, 2013

$2.6 million settlement in Save Mart lawsuit

Source: Lodi News-Sentinel (CA), April 4, 2013
Posted on: http://envfpn.advisen.com

Save Mart Supermarkets must pay $2.6 million in civil penalties, costs and expenses for supplemental environmental projects furthering consumer protection and environmental enforcement in the state in a settlement reached Tuesday with 35 California district attorneys.

The civil enforcement action was filed in San Joaquin County Superior Court against the Modesto-based grocery chain over concerns with Save Mart’s storage, handling and disposal of hazardous waste, according to a press release issued by Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully.

Save Mart Supermarkets operates stores throughout California — including two in Lodi and one in Galt — and includes Food Maxx, Maxx Value Foods and Lucky brands.

A company representative could not be reached for comment late Wednesday.

The statewide inquiry involved investigators from environmental and health agencies, hazardous waste inspectors and participating D.A. offices. Save Mart worked collaboratively with prosecutors and investigating agencies to address the specific violations that were found, according to the press release.

As a result, regulated wastes produced by Save Mart stores will be properly stored, handled, transported and disposed of at proper facilities, and appropriate records will be kept documenting compliance with California law.

The settlement covers alleged violations occurring over several years and affects all of the 251 California Save Mart stores and distribution centers, including Albertson’s Stores (acquired by Save Mart and converted to either the Lucky or Save Mart brands).

Under the judgment, the Sacramento County Environmental Management Department will receive $23,400 in civil penalties and cost recovery, and the Sacramento D.A.’s Office will receive $48,850 in civil penalties and investigation cost recovery.

“By joining with other district attorneys, we can address common issues in many counties and achieve enhanced compliance with environmental regulations by large corporations throughout the state,” Scully said in a prepared statement. “When notified of the investigation, Save Mart moved quickly to address its shortcomings in handling hazardous wastes.”

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April 5, 2013

IA Company Fined for Mishandling Waste

Read here about a manufacturing company in Iowa that has been fined by the EPA for mishandling hazardous waste.

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April 2, 2013

Aircraft painter pleads guilty to hazardous waste violations

Source: http://www.lexology.com, March 22, 2013
By: David Erickson and Mark Anstoetter

The owner of a Colorado company that paints aircraft has pleaded guilty to improper treatment of a hazardous waste. United States v. Teltow, No. 1:13-0027 (D. Colo. 3/12/13). Owner Norman Teltow could be sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

According to the plea agreement, during an April 2010 Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment inspection, the company was found to be illegally storing a mixed waste containing methylene chloride in a tank beneath the building in which it operates. Waste methylene chloride is ignitable and considered a hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The company was ordered to seal the trench drain that led to the underground tank and hire a contractor to clean out the tank. The owner of the hangar used by Teltow’s company hired a contractor to pump the underground tank, but sludge remained after that operation, and Teltow then directed company employees to remove the sludge without taking any protective precautions.

Lacking a price-attractive disposal option, the company began pouring a mixture of water, methylene chloride and other constituents on the hangar’s floor at the end of some workdays, leaving the doors open and allowing the methylene chloride to evaporate. Eventually, the owner drilled a hole in the sealed drain to allow use of the tank for waste storage. The guilty plea was to one count of illegal treatment of a hazardous waste and resolves other RCRA charges, as well as charges under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Sentencing is scheduled to occur in June 2013.

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March 14, 2013

CO Aircraft Painter Pleads Guilty to Waste Violations

Read here about the owner of an aircraft painting company who pleaded guilty to hazardous waste violations.

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February 5, 2013

Norfolk Southern contractor accused of dumping hazardous waste at Scott County landfill

Source: Knoxville News-Sentinel, January 30, 2013
Posted on: http://envfpn.advisen.com

A Norfolk Southern Corp. contractor dumped hazardous waste at a Scott County landfill in December, and now the company is working to clean up the mess and move the soil to an appropriate location, according to state officials.

Shannon Ashford, a communications officer with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, said that on Jan. 3 it was discovered that Domermuth Environmental Services, a contractor responsible for transporting nonhazardous soil to Volunteer Regional Landfill in Oneida, Tenn., had “accidentally transported and disposed of the hazardous waste soil pile” from the Coster Shop site in Knoxville, where Norfolk Southern’s bulk transfer facility is under construction.

Ashford said the disposal of about 275 cubic yards of soil with hazardous constituents, namely tetrachloroethylene, took place between Dec. 26-28.

Ashford said the contamination was discovered at the landfill by a second Norfolk Southern contractor — AMEC — when a stormwater sediment basin was excavated.

Susan Terpay, a spokeswoman with Norfolk Southern, said the mistake was made because of “a miscommunication between a consultant and contractor.”

“As soon as we were made aware of it, we alerted the authorities and we have a work plan to begin remediation, which is under way,” she said.

Ashford said Norfolk Southern plans to dig the contaminated soil out of the cell and segregate it for disposal at a permitted site.

Ashford said staff in TDEC’s Division of Solid Waste Management’s enforcement section “continues to assess the incident” and will make the decision regarding if/when to assess a fine or penalty.

She said TDEC has not received any reports of health problems from the hazardous waste.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website, tetrachloroethylene is widely used for dry-cleaning fabrics and metal degreasing operations. Acute and chronic inhalation exposure to tetrachloroethylene may lead to neurological, liver and kidney damage.

Volunteer Regional Landfill is owned and operated by Waste Connections, Ashford said.

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December 10, 2012

WI recycler violates hazardous waste laws

Read here about an oil recycling facility in Wisconsin that has been fined for violating hazardous waste laws.

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October 12, 2012

RCRA vapor intrusion liability for “passive inaction”

Source: http://www.lexology.com, October 3, 2012
By: William C. Wagner, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP

An environmental contamination case set for trial based on liability under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) for “passive inaction and studied indifference” recently settled, but the court filings provide a valuable lesson to property owners to address contamination promptly and to document delays outside of their control (such as agency review and approval of work plans) rather than being second-guessed for delays.

To establish a claim for injunctive relief under RCRA, 42 U.S.C. § 6972(a)(1)(B), a plaintiff must show that: (1) the conditions at the site may present an imminent and substantial endangerment; (2) the endangerment stems from the handling, storage, treatment, transportation, or disposal of any solid or hazardous waste; and (3) the defendant has contributed or is contributing to such handling, storage, treatment, transportation, or disposal.

In Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur v. Garnett-Murray, 2012 WL 2050377 (N.D. Cal. 2012), the Sisters inherited contaminated property through a charitable bequest in a will. The property was located next to a long-standing dry cleaning business (operated since about 1960) that used tetrachloroethylene (also known as perchloroethylene, perc, or PCE) in its business until 2009. PCE from contaminated soil below the dry cleaning business migrated in the form of PCE vapor into the soil beneath the Sisters’ property next door. From there, the PCE vapor migrated up and into the indoor air of the Sisters’ property. The PCE vapor inside the Sisters’ property was at a level of 15 times the local Environmental Screening Level.

To learn more. please read Bill Wagner’s recent blog post on Commonground.…

September 21, 2011

Developer sues regents over waste

Source: http://onlineathens.com, September 20, 2011
By: Lee Shearer

An Oconee County land development company has sued the state Board of Regents, claiming a University of Georgia construction waste landfill spilled over onto its property.

According to Phoenix Development and Land Investment LLC of Watkinsville, UGA contract workers accidentally buried construction waste on the company’s land, as well as allowed hazardous or toxic waste to seep across the property line.

The company has knowledge that those toxic or hazardous materials have leached from the UGA landfill onto the company’s property, near the UGA club sports fields across South Milledge Avenue from the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, according to papers filed for Phoenix in Athens-Clarke County Superior Court by the law firm of State Sen. Bill Cowsert, a member of the state’s Higher Education Committee.

The lawsuit — which Cowsert filed on behalf of Phoenix’s registered agent, Conway Broun, brother of U.S. Rep. Paul Broun — claims the university’s mistake has prevented the company from developing the South Milledge Avenue property it acquired in 2008. UGA officials have admitted that university workers unknowingly went over the property line, burying construction waste on about 2.4 acres of neighboring land.…

July 6, 2011

Van Nuys metal plater to pay hazardous waste fine

Source: Los Angeles Times, June 30, 2011
Posted on: http://envfpn.advisen.com

A Van Nuys metal-plating business has agreed to pay a $100,000 fine to settle charges that it mishandled hazardous waste.

Inspectors from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Los Angeles County Fire Department found that Crown Chrome Plating, a division of TMW Corp., a supplier of transportation services, had multiple hazardous wastes on site without a permit in April 2009, a violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. There were also four other waste-handling violations associated with having the materials in the facility.

The hazardous materials included paint wastes, alkaline and acidic corrosive liquids, and sludges containing heavy metals such as chromium and lead that the EPA said were not properly stored or handled. Staff members also were not trained in proper handling of the materials, the EPA said.

“The toxic wastes and sludges at the Crown Chrome facility have the potential to pose a danger to employees, the surrounding community and the environment,” said Jared Blumenfeld, the EPA’s regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest.

The county pursued state violations and the EPA pursued federal violations, filing a complaint against the corporation in August 2010. The case was settled Tuesday.

TMW Corp. is complying with federal law and will pay a fine of $100,000, according to the EPA. Representatives from the company did not respond to requests for comment.

Mimi Newton, an EPA associate counsel, said officials warn facilities when they will be inspecting.

“You need to look at federal and state regulations,” Newton said. “There is a lot of them; but when you’re in the metal-plating business, it’s your responsibility to know them.”

Newton attributed many of the violations to mismanagement but said the EPA thought the violations were “big enough failures” to warrant penalizing the company.…