EPA Penalizes Manufacturers in Kansas, Missouri and Iowa for Alleged Hazardous Waste Violations
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Lenexa, Kan., July 27, 2021) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached settlements with three manufacturing companies that generate hazardous waste to resolve alleged violations of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). According to EPA, the violations created the potential for releases of hazardous wastes, including harmful air emissions, from the companies’ facilities.
“Reducing the potential for toxic air emissions at hazardous waste facilities is a top priority for EPA,” said Diane Huffman, acting director of EPA Region 7’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division. “These facilities are located in communities that may already experience disproportionate environmental harm. Such concerns underscore the importance of ensuring facilities are complying with hazardous waste regulations.”
Fuchs Lubricants Co. of Kansas City, Kansas, which manufactures lubricating oils and greases, paid a civil penalty of $255,344. United Industries Corporation of Vinita Park, Missouri, which manufactures herbicides, plant food, pesticides, cleaners, and pest repellants, agreed to pay a civil penalty of $95,000. DCW Casing LLC of Oelwein, Iowa, a manufacturer of a blood anticoagulant called heparin, paid a civil penalty of $80,562.
EPA inspected United Industries in 2018 and the other facilities in 2020. According to inspection findings, each company qualified as a “large quantity generator” of hazardous waste but they allegedly failed to meet the requirements of a facility producing that much waste, including applicable organic air emission requirements:
- Fuchs Lubricants failed to: properly label hazardous waste containers; maintain required aisle space; monitor and inspect pumps and valves; minimize hazardous waste air emissions; and identify an emergency coordinator in case of leaks. The facility also stored hazardous waste longer than regulatory requirements allow.
- United Industries failed to: conduct and document daily hazardous waste tank inspections; properly mark equipment; and equip a hazardous waste tank with a required fixed roof. Further, the EPA inspector found a crack in a secondary hazardous waste containment area.
- DCW Casing failed to: have a contingency plan for releases of hazardous waste; conduct and document hazardous waste training; and properly mark equipment and keep records.
Because these companies allegedly failed to meet each RCRA hazardous waste requirement for large quantity generators, each was operating as an unpermitted hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facility.
In response to the inspection findings, the companies agreed to take the necessary steps to return their facilities to compliance.
Federal law requires facilities that generate hazardous wastes to implement safe generation, handling, transportation, and disposal practices. Improper management of hazardous waste and certain equipment may cause harm to public health and the environment.
EPA identified the goal of reducing air emissions from hazardous waste facilities as one of seven National Compliance Initiatives in 2019.
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