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News Releases from Region 07

EPA Inspections Reveal Hazardous Waste Violations at University of Missouri-Kansas City Campus

Contact Information: 
LaTonya Sanders (sanders.latonya@epa.gov)

Environmental News


(Lenexa, Kan., Oct. 6, 2015) - EPA Region 7 compliance evaluation inspections of the University of Missouri-Kansas City's (UMKC) Volker Campus and Dental School in Kansas City, Mo., revealed violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) related to the storage and handling of hazardous waste.

In a settlement filed recently by EPA in Lenexa, Kan., the university will pay a $32,679 civil penalty to the United States, and complete a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) costing $32,436.

As part of the inspections - which were conducted at the Volker Campus in March 2013, and at the Dental School in February 2014 - EPA determined the university failed to properly analyze two waste streams that could contain hazardous waste. RCRA requires that facilities generating solid wastes determine if those wastes meet the definition of hazardous. Once the determination is made, the facilities must manage the hazardous waste properly until it is disposed.

The inspector also noted the facility improperly accumulated hazardous waste in open, unlabeled, and undated containers; lacked complete contingency and training plans; and failed to take the necessary steps to minimize the possibility of a fire, explosion or accidental release of hazardous waste. For example, chemicals that when mixed could lead to exposure-related safety concerns were stored in close proximity and under unsafe conditions. UMKC will now be required to submit a quarterly report for one year demonstrating that it is complying with all RCRA storage requirements.

As part of the settlement, UMKC will also complete a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP). A SEP is intended to produce environmental or public health and safety benefits, earning partial credit from EPA to offset the cost of a civil enforcement penalty.

In this case, the SEP requires that UMKC upgrade its current hazardous material computer inventory system in all university facilities, and improve its ability to electronically track, process, and maintain disposal records. UMKC must submit a SEP completion report to EPA within six months.

By agreeing to the settlement, UMKC has certified that it is now in compliance with all requirements of RCRA and its implementing regulations.

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