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EPA orders Saipan rock quarry to clean up freestanding used oil and improve used oil management

Release Date: 6/13/2005
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711

HONOLULU – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently ordered JG Sablan Rock Quarry, Inc. to clean up and correct the way the company manages used oil at its Lower Base facility in Saipan.

The order requires the company to remove 2,000 gallons of used oil pooled in a secondary containment area, ensure proper on-site management and off-site disposal of used oil and hazardous waste. The EPA is requiring a work plan from the company to investigate and remediate the effects of past spills of used oil and hazardous waste resulting from the faulty container management practices.

“All facilities that maintain vehicles must properly contain, manage, and dispose of their wastes,” said Jeff Scott, Director of Waste Programs for the EPA Pacific Southwest Region. “Failure to do so jeopardizes the safety of the community, workers, and the environment. This Order will correct the violations we identified and will send a message that noncompliance will not be tolerated.”

The facility repairs and maintains heavy equipment and small vehicles used in its quarrying operations, and stores large quantities of used oil and lead acid batteries.

The Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands’ Division of Environmental Quality regularly inspects the facility and discovered large releases and extensive soil contamination with used oil.

In March 2005, EPA inspectors discovered 2,000-gallons of used oil and 85 severely corroded and leaking 55-gallon containers of used oil inside of the facility’s secondary containment area. The inspectors also found heavily oil stained soil under 50 additional containers and on the surrounding soil, along with many other leaking containers, vehicles, and lead acid batteries throughout the facility.

The company is ordered to:

* Ensure that all containers at the facility holding used motor oil, contaminated debris, unknown waste, or other solid or hazardous wastes are kept securely closed.

* Transfer all used motor oil, contaminated debris, unknown waste, and any other solid or hazardous waste stored in corroded or leaking containers and any damaged or leaking lead-acid batteries to containers in good condition that can be closed securely.

* Submit an inventory of the waste materials generated and or stored at the Sablan maintenance facility, including damaged or leaking containers, and a plan and schedule for disposal of such waste material.

* Properly dispose of the waste material generated and or stored at the facility, including damaged or leaking containers.

* Submit a work plan to investigate and remediate effects of the releases of used motor oil, sulfuric acid, lead, and any other solid or hazardous waste at the facility.

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