Avoid EPA Fines: Are you in Compliance?
It's essential to keep your facility in compliance with EPA regulations, which include the storage, labeling and disposal of hazardous wastes. A few important considerations are:
- Hazardous wastes must be properly labeled
- Hazardous wastes must be stored properly ( 25+ gallons of Class 1A flammables in a flammable storage cabinet, for example.) OSHA 29 CFR 1910.106(e)(2)(ii)(b)
- Incompatible hazardous wastes cannot be stored together. (Store acids in an acid cabinet and flammables in a flammable cabinet, for example.)
- Hazardous wastes must be disposed of properly (including proper labeling for the disposal company.)
- Certain hazardous wastes released by facilities must be declared annually under the federal TRI Program.
- Waste Containers must be contained in a compliant secondary container in case of breakage or leakage. 40 CFR 264.175
Read the EPA article "Managing Laboratory Hazardous Waste for Academic Laboratories and institutions" (PDF)
Click below to access the most up to date version of the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations:
Title 40: Protection of Environment
PART 262 STANDARDS APPLICABLE TO GENERATORS OF HAZARDOUS WASTE
Here are some of the EPA press releases detailing violations found in various facilities:
Two Seafood Processing Facilities Fined $297K for Violating Clean Water Act - 3/1/2018
Trident Seafoods Corporation, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Environmental Protection Agency have reached an agreement to resolve violations of the Clean Water Act for discharges of fish waste at two seafood processing facilities in Sand Point and Wrangell, Alaska. Under the agreement, Trident will remove nearly three-and-a-half acres of waste from the seafloor near its Sand Point plant, and limit the amount of seafood waste discharged from its Wrangell plant.Read more...
Chemical Spill at Kansas Plant Sends Dozens to Hospital - 10/22/2016
A chemical spill at an Atchison, Kansas, distillery plant released a noxious plume of gas above the city Friday, sending dozens to the hospital for respiratory problems. The accident happened around 8 a.m. CT at MGP Ingredients, a supplier of premium distilled spirits, causing a "chemical release," officials said. Authorities ordered temporary evacuations and at least 60 people sought treatment, including at least two who were in intensive care. Most had been released by late Friday.The plume was released after two chemicals, sulfuric acid and sodium hypochlorite, were accidentally combined, according to Katie Horner, spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Emergency Management. The combination of the two chemicals can release chlorine gas.Read more...
Louisiana Chemical Manufacturer Fined $92.6K for Serious Safety Violations - 10/14/2016
Federal safety officials have cited a Louisiana chemical manufacturer for nine serious and two other violations, and issued fines of more than $92,000.The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Baton Rouge Area Office cited PPG Industries for violations at the company’s Westlake, Louisiana, facility. Read More...
Long Beach Facility to Pay EPA $78K in Settlement After Mishandling Hazardous Waste - 08/05/2016
A Long Beach treatment facility is one of two Southern California companies required to pay more than $130,000 collectively for improperly handling hazardous waste, following a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, officials announced this week.An August 2014 inspection by EPA officials of Crosby & Overton’s hazardous waste treatment facility in Long Beach found that the company “failed to safely store broken batteries, which contain corrosive hazardous waste,” an EPA release stated.EPA officials said the waste treatment facility did not properly use and maintain equipment, like a diaphragm pump for pumping paint waste.“[They] failed to conduct the required inspections and monitoring to manage hazardous materials and related air emission,” the release stated.The company agreed to pay a $78,570 penalty. It has since corrected the violations. Read More...
Peanut Company faces OSHA safety penalties - 08/01/2016
A Georgia peanut company has been cited and is facing $110,310 in proposed penalties from federal safety and health regulators for combustible dust, machine guarding and other hazards. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Leesburg, Georgia-based Great Southern Peanut L.L.C. for 13 repeat, four serious and four other-than-serious safety and health violations, the agency said Thursday in a statement. Read More...
Nissan plant must pay fines for safety violations - 07/23/2016
CANTON, MS - After OSHA conducted two inspections at the Nissan plant, several violations were cited.A complaint inspection in March had one serious violation and one repeat violation after being investigated. The total penalty for this was $32,000.
Elmore firm fined $70,000 for safety violation at plant - 07/15/2016
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has levied a $70,000 fine against the Materion Brush plant in Elmore, Ohio, for a “willful” workplace safety violation in March that fractured a worker’s hand. Materion Brush, formerly known as Brush Wellman and now a subsidiary of Materion Corp., of Mayfield Heights, Ohio, was cited for failing to ensure a machine had adequate safety guards that could have prevented the accident, OSHA officials said. Read More...
Temporary workers exposed to machine hazards, Ohio auto part manufacturer hit with $3.42M in fines from OSHA - 6/28/2016
The fines evaluated by OSHA are said to be the largest ever filed against a company in the automotive parts industry. The facility has been known for federal safety violations dating back at least 20 years. After the last evaluation by OSHA 46 egregious willful, two willful, one repeated and eight serious safety violations were issued. The majority of the violations involved improper training with machinery including lockout tagout procedures and how to operate them safely. The amount of violations issued added up to $3,426,900 in fines. To learn details about the safety violations. Read more...
Wisconsin Contractor Cited for $121,800 After Worker Killed in Fall - 6/17/2016
An OSHA investigation into the fall incident was conducted in December 2015 at Pewaukee, Wisconsin-based Reich Installation Services Inc. The company had failed to conduct proper inspections on the railing resulting in an employee falling 4 stories. OSHA issued two citations: one for improper inspection of the visible defects in the railing and another for exceeding the scaffold's maximum intended load. Read more...
Cosmetics Manufacturer in Caernarvon Township, PA Cited for $285,000 In Safety Fines - 6/14/2016
OSHA issued 10 violations to PhytogenX for safety violations during a previous inspection in December 2015. The violations included four willful and six serious violations. Although most of the violations had to deal with the storage, processing and handling of flammable liquids, other concerns included a lack of proper training for employees. Read more...
A Des Moines Postal Service Facility has been fined $120K in Violations from OSHA - 6/6/2016
A 2015 investigation of the facility revealed a lack of emergency training for employees, a broken mechanical exit door and blocked emergency exits. They also exposed workers to risks of falls, slips, and trip hazards in walkways.
Fragrance Facility in Hanover Township Fined $63K in Citations from OSHA - 5/31/2016
On January 27. the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency prompted OSHA to investigate Ungerer & Co. after an employee suffered respiratory issues from an unidentified chemical odor. After the investigation, OSHA issued one repeat, six serious and one other-than-serious violation to the company adding up to $63,450 in citations. Read more…
Permission to Build? Why Well-Maintained Hazardous Waste Permits are Good for the Environment, Good for our Communities, and Good for Business - 04/20/2016
Facilities that treat, store and dispose of hazardous waste must be maintained. Under the Resource Recovery Act (RCRA) these facilities much obtain a hazardous waste permit in order to ensure safe management of those wastes. It has been 30 years since the permit became a requirement for dealing with hazardous waste, however, now that they have been issued, the focus of the facilities has shifted to maintaining and modifying these permits. The modifications help to improve operational efficiency, economic development and environmental protection at hazardous waste facilities. Permittees should request changes in a timely manner in order to keep pace with evolving business practices, technology, cleanup decisions and regulations. Read more...
York County Company Settles Hazardous Waste Violations at its PA Manufacturing Facility - 10/02/2012
Bimax, Inc. has agreed to pay a $36,455 penalty to settle alleged violations of hazardous waste regulations at its chemical manufacturing facility, and also will spend $305,000 to install a system that will eliminate 99 percent of the hazardous pollutants emitted from the facility. Hazardous waste, including solvents, was improperly stored in violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The alleged violations included operating a treatment, storage or disposal facility without a permit, failure to determine if the waste was hazardous, failure to obtain required certification from a qualified professional engineer attesting that the facility's tank system has sufficient structural integrity for the storage of hazardous waste, failure to monitor pump leaks weekly, and failure to monitor valves for air emission leaks. Read more...
Maintenance shop to construct new building for hazardous waste storage following series of violations - 09/14/2012
The Kenai Peninsula Borough has agreed to construct a building to store hazardous waste following violations of federal waste management rules at its maintenance facility in Soldotna, Alaska. An EPA inspection in 2009 identified hazardous waste violations. The facility failed to determine if waste it was managing was hazardous waste, and failed to label containers of hazardous waste and used oil waste. The substances included paint thinners, kerosene and a mix of solvent and anti-freeze. The improperly labeled containers ranged in size from two-gallon containers to a 300-gallon tank. Read more... Find compliant hazardous waste storage cabinets
New Haven Company Faces Fine for Hazardous Waste Violations - 08/02/2012
A New Haven, Conn. company that makes door hardware faces a penalty of $64,495 from the US Environmental Protection Agency for violating state and federal hazardous waste laws. The company failed to segregate containers of incompatible hazardous waste, failed to have an adequate hazardous waste training program, failed to close containers of hazardous waste, failed to maintain adequate aisle space between containers of hazardous waste, failed to mark containers with the dateÂ that accumulation of hazardous waste began, failed to update and submit revised contingency plan to local authorities, and otherwise failed to manage hazardous waste in accordance with the requirements. Read more... Find Compliant Secondary Containment
Homebuilder Toll Brothers to Pay $741,000 Clean Water / Stormwater Penalty - 06/20/2012
The company will pay a civil penalty of $741,000 to resolve alleged Clean Water Act violations at its construction sites. Toll Brothers will also invest in a company-wide stormwater compliance program to improve employee training and increase management oversight at all current and future residential construction sites across the nation. The company is required to inspect its current and future construction sites routinely to minimize stormwater runoff from sites. Polluted stormwater runoff and sediment from construction sites can flow directly into the nearest waterway, affecting drinking water quality and damaging valuable aquatic habitats. Read more... (Find Stormwater Runoff solutions)
Providence Facility Faces EPA Penalty for Hazardous Waste Violations - 04/17/2012
The company could face a penalty of up to $37,500 per violation per day for improper disposal and storage of hazardous wastes, including acids, alkalis, flammable wastes, water reactive wastes, cyanides, sulfides, oxidizers, toxic wastes, oily wastes, photochemical wastes and laboratory packs. Many incompatible hazardous wastes were stored next to one another without adequate means of separation or protection, potentially resulting in fires or explosions. Read more... (View compliant safety storage cabinets)
Pennsylvania Company to Pay $25,347 Penalty for Inadequate Oil Spill Prevention - 01/10/2012
The company agreed to pay a $25,347 penalty for alleged violations of oil spill prevention regulations and for failing to implement a spill prevention, control and countermeasure (SPCC) plan. Read more... (View all SPCC compliant products)
Air Force Base Mismanaged Hazardous Waste and Failed to Maintain Adequate Training Plan for Handling Waste - 03/13/2012
The base agreed to pay a penalty for alleged violations of federal hazardous waste management laws, correct the violations and improve its waste management and training practices. Items noted included Failure to have adequate training plan in place for facility workers handling hazardous waste and Improper labeling to clearly identify hazardous waste. Read more... (View labeling product)
Coatings Company to Pay Civil Penalty for Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Violations - 02/27/2012
The company agreed to pay a $55,000 civil penalty as part of a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a series of hazardous waste violations which included Improper management of hazardous waste containers on site and Failure to provide a sufficient base beneath containers which held hazardous waste. Read more... (View compliant secondary containment for hazardous waste drums)
Scranton Sewer Authority Fined for Safety Violations - 01/04/2012
The Sewer Authority of the City of Scranton will pay a $12,619 penalty for their failure to develop a proper risk management plan, which resulted in their failure to properly train employees in operating procedures, failure to test and inspect equipment, and failure to conduct a three-year compliance audit. Risk management plans are designed to reduce the risk of an accidental release of harmful chemicals into the atmosphere. Read more...
Idaho, Oregon, and Washington Manufacturers Fined for Undisclosed Chemical Releases - 12/20/2011
The company will pay a $4,100 penalty for failed disclosure. â€œCompanies that use industrial chemicals have a responsibility to surrounding communities to run safe and transparent operations,â€ said Kelly Huynh, manager of the Inspection and Enforcement Management Unit at EPA in Seattle. â€œThat includes reporting about the chemicals they use and release at their facilities.â€ Read more...
Merck to Pay $1.5 Million Penalty for Multiple Environmental Violations - 09/28/2011
Merck & Co. has agreed to pay a $1.5 million civil penalty to settle alleged violations of federal environmental laws at its pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities in Riverside and West Point, PA. The complaint alleges that Merck did not comply with Clean Air Act emissions reporting and record keeping requirements. The complaint also asserts that Merck discharged pollutants in excess of limits in its Clean Water Act permit; failed to notify local officials of hazardous substances released; and failed to properly label and store hazardous waste. Read more...
U.S. EPA Fines Tucson Facility $30,000 for Hazardous Waste Violations - 10/13/2011
Contact Information: Margot Perez-Sullivan, (415) 947-4149, firstname.lastname@example.org
Inspections in 2010 uncovered violations of handling and storing of hazardous waste. Among the violations were mislabeled or unlabeled containers, failure to provide proof of employee training and inadequate record keeping at a hazardous waste small quantity generator. Hazardous substances must be stored, handled and disposed of using measures that safeguard public health and the environment. Read more...
U.S. EPA Fines Reno Area Facility $79,500 for Hazardous Waste Violations - 11/30/2011
Fined $79,500 for the improper management of hazardous waste. Among the violations were storage of hazardous waste in an unpermitted area, cracked and deteriorated containment areas, and a leaking container. Hazardous substances must be stored, handled and disposed of using measures that safeguard public health and the environment. Read more...
All these and more EPA Press Releases available at http://www.epa.gov/newsroom/