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YKK (U.S.A.) Inc., Agrees to Pay Penalty for Alleged Violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act

Release Date: 07/27/2009
Contact Information: Laura Niles, (404) 562-8353,

(Atlanta, Ga. – July 27, 2009) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized a case involving alleged violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) against YKK (USA), Inc. (YKK), a zipper manufacturer with facilities in Macon, Ga. In accordance with the Consent Agreement and Final Order (CA/FO) filed July 22, 2009, YKK has agreed to pay a penalty of $240,000 to resolve several alleged violations of RCRA and the Georgia Hazardous Waste Management Act (GHWMA). The alleged violations include failure to prepare manifests for hazardous waste containers and failure to meet certain conditions for a permit exemption relating to storage, labeling, marking, inspection and recordkeeping.

On May 29, 2008, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GAEPD) inspected an EZ Emission facility in Rex, Ga., after receiving a complaint from the owner about unknown containers stored there. During the inspection, GAEPD discovered approximately nine containers marked “Hazardous Waste” and affixed with YKK’s shipping labels. GAEPD further discovered that the containers had been placed at this location by a hazardous waste vendor used by YKK. Upon this discovery, YKK immediately arranged for these containers to be removed to a properly-permitted location. As part of GAEPD’s investigation concerning the discovered wastes, GAEPD inspected a private residence on June 12, 2008 owned by the vendor, and discovered approximately seven containers affixed with YKK’s shipping labels. This residential location was also the vendor’s business address supplied to GAEPD.

A RCRA compliance evaluation inspection (CEI) of YKK’s Ocmulgee Park and Chestney Site facilities was conducted by EPA and GAEPD on August 6, 2008 to determine compliance status and to investigate the circumstances associated with the discovery of YKK’s wastes. Based on the previous discovery of YKK’s wastes and the CEI, EPA issued a Notice of Violation to YKK on February 4, 2009 identifying alleged violations of RCRA. On February 26, 2009, upon discovery, YKK immediately notified EPA and GAEPD that additional containers of wastes affixed with YKK’s shipping labels were stored by the vendor at a self-storage facility in Macon, Ga. that had been rented by the vendor. EPA inspected the self-storage facility the following day, and confirmed that approximately 57 containers of YKK’s wastes were left in storage. YKK arranged for these containers to be removed to a properly-permitted location pending further investigation. YKK has certified that all alleged violations have been corrected as part of the CA/FO.

RCRA was enacted by Congress in 1976. RCRA's primary goals are to protect human health and the environment from the potential hazards of waste disposal, to conserve energy and natural resources, to reduce the amount of waste generated, and to ensure that wastes are managed in an environmentally sound manner.