Although the EPA is at the moment essentially crippled in the midst of the ongoing government shutdown, we have a few enforcement items to report from late 2018. Our latest roundup of five cases includes RCRA, EPCRA, and TSCA violations.
Hazardous Waste Management Violations
Akzo Nobel Coatings, Inc.
Virginia Region 3
RCRA violations: The EPA has reached a settlement with Akzo Nobel Coatings, Inc., for alleged violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Subtitle C that agency inspectors observed during an inspection of the company’s Roanoke, VA, facility. During the inspection, the EPA observed that the company (1) operated a hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facility (TSDF) without a permit or interim status; (2) failed to make a timely waste determination on off-spec and returned products; (3) failed to keep hazardous waste containers closed except as necessary to add or remove waste; (4) failed to file an exception report after not receiving a signed manifest from the destination facility within 45 days of the date the waste was received by the transporter; (5) failed to keep containers of universal waste lamps closed; and (6) failed to properly label containers of universal waste lamps. The company has updated its standard operating procedures to properly contain and manage hazardous waste to comply with RCRA and protect human health and the environment.
Penalty: $25,000 fine
Failure to Properly Identify and Manifest PCB Waste Leads to Fines
Voith Hydro, Inc.
Pennsylvania Region 3
TSCA violations: The EPA issued a Consent Agreement and Final Order against Voith Hydro, Inc., because its facility in York, PA, failed to properly identify and manifest polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) waste for shipment to a TSDF. The EPA alleges that the company was not in compliance with the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which ensures the proper disposal of toxic substances. PCBs, in particular, have been shown to have carcinogenic effects in humans. Voith Hydro, Inc., has agreed to pay a penalty and has certified that the facility is now in compliance with TSCA.
Penalty: $20,470 fine
Rubber Compounding Company Cited
Preferred Compounding, Corp.
Georgia and Tennessee Region 4
EPCRA violations: The EPA issued a Consent Agreement and Final Order against Preferred Compounding Corp. due to alleged Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) reporting violations. The company’s Tallapoosa, GA, facility processed zinc compounds in excess of the thresholds established under EPCRA Section 313(f) during 2015. The company’s Huntington, TN, facility processed both zinc and lead compounds in excess of these thresholds during 2015. The company failed to comply with the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) reporting requirements by not submitting the required Form R for these compounds by the July 1 deadline. Preferred Compounding Corp. was also in violation of EPCRA 312 because it did not submit an emergency and hazardous chemical inventory form (i.e., a Tier II report) to the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC), the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), and the local fire department for zinc oxide by the March 1 deadline for reporting years 2014 and 2015.
Penalty: $16,343 fine. In addition, the company was ordered to complete pollution reduction projects at the Tennessee and Georgia locations in the amounts of $98,725 and $34,000, respectively.
Fine for Failure to Maintain Liability Insurance
Washington Region 10
RCRA violations: The EPA has entered a settlement with Stericycle because the company failed to maintain an insurance policy that provided adequate third-party coverage to those whose health and properties could be damaged by a hazardous waste release from the company’s Kent and Tacoma, WA, facilities. EPA Region 10 Office of Compliance and Enforcement Director Ed Kowalski remarked, “Protection—and fairness—dictates that a company must be able to compensate its neighbors if it does them harm.” The failure to maintain an insurance policy allegedly violated terms of the company’s waste-handling and storage permit.
Penalty: $150,000 fine
TRI Reporting Violations
Brenntag Mid-South, Inc.
Kentucky Region 4
EPCRA violations: The EPA issued a Consent Agreement and Final Order against Brenntag Mid-South, Inc., because the company’s Louisville, KY, facility allegedly violated Section 313 of EPCRA. The facility processed sec-Butyl Alcohol in excess of the 25,000-pound threshold quantity during 2014 and 2016 and failed to submit the required TRI Form R.
Penalty: $10,672 fine