EPA settles with JBER for hazardous waste violations
(Seattle) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it has settled a case it brought against Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson for violations of federal laws governing the handling, storage, and disposal of hazardous wastes.
EPA alleges that between 2016 and 2018 JBER personnel violated the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act when they failed to evaluate and categorize two waste streams as hazardous waste; failed to conduct required weekly inspections of hazardous waste accumulation areas; improperly implemented container management and labeling requirements; and failed to ensure personnel took part in annual review of training.
“Managing hazardous waste correctly is critical to the health of workers, to neighbors, and to the environment,” said Ed Kowalski, Director of EPA Region 10’s Enforcement and Compliance Assistance Division. “We’re pleased that JBER leadership took immediate action when we discovered the problems at the base.”
Performing timely and accurate hazardous waste determinations is the keystone of the RCRA program. Only after evaluating the hazards posed by a waste stream can a generator properly manage the waste to prevent releases that endanger human health and the environment. Managing hazardous waste in accordance with the conditions for storage without a permit minimizes the potential for release to the environment. Failure to label containers makes it difficult to maintain an inventory of wastes stored for proper waste management.
JBER promptly corrected the violations and instituted new measures to prevent their recurrence. The base and its contractor have each agreed to pay a combined penalty totaling $78,919.
A copy of the Compliance Agreement and Final Order can be found here: JBER Consent Agreement and Final Order