Environmental Protection

Bar Harbor Lab Settles over RCRA, EPCRA Violations

The Jackson Laboratory of Bar Harbor, Maine has agreed to pay a $161,680 fine to settle claims by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that it violated regulations governing the storage and handling of hazardous wastes and requirements of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).

According to an April 2 press release, the violations were identified during an inspection of the facility to determine compliance with EPCRA and hazardous waste handling, storage, and disposal requirements. EPA alleged that the laboratory failed to store potentially explosive chemicals and wastes properly, as required by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), posing a potentially serious threat to the people working in and around the facility's many laboratories, as well as to the surrounding environment. The laboratory also failed to provide annual hazardous waste training for employees with hazardous waste management responsibilities.

EPA further alleged that Jackson Laboratory stored hazardous chemicals at its facility without notifying the local fire department, emergency planning committee, and Maine's emergency response commission, as required by EPCRA. This information is used by local, state, and federal officials to respond to emergencies, and is important information for emergency responders working in time-critical situations to protect public health.

The settlement reached will help ensure that Jackson Laboratory complies with regulations governing the handling, storage, and transportation of hazardous waste. Also, it will ensure that the laboratory provide community and emergency response personnel with information about potentially dangerous chemicals being used and stored in the community. Accurate records are also necessary to legitimize and support future health studies and to ensure that accurate planning and safety precautions are taken in the event that federal, state and local authorities must respond to emergencies on site or address environmental contamination.

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