Clean Harbors to Pay $150,000 for Hazardous Waste Issues
Clean Harbors Environmental Services, Inc., an international provider of environmental, energy and industrial services, has agreed to pay a $150,000 civil penalty to the United States to settle a series of alleged violations of hazardous waste regulations at its hazardous waste treatment and storage facility in Kimball, Neb.
Clean Harbors’ Kimball facility operates under a permit issued by the state of Nebraska that allows it to process and incinerate up to 505,344 pounds of hazardous wastes per day.
Inspections of the facility by EPA in September 2007 and by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality in April 2008 noted a series of alleged violations of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which regulates the storage, treatment and handling of hazardous wastes.
Those alleged violations included
- the presence of several open, unlabeled and leaking hazardous waste containers;
- storage of different hazardous wastes in proximity that could cause chemical reactions;
- failure to minimize the potential for release of hazardous waste to the environment;
- failure to make hazardous waste determinations on two containers of waste;
- failure to ensure the integrity of a secondary containment structure;
- failure to properly manage a container of received waste; and
- improper emissions control of hazardous waste tanks.
“EPA expects full compliance with RCRA from companies that have been issued a permit to treat hazardous waste,” Regional Administrator Karl Brooks said. “Companies that treat hazardous waste must handle it in a way that minimizes the potential for releases into the environment that could pose health issues to employees of those facilities, and to the public.”
Under terms of an administrative consent agreement filed in Kansas City, Kan., Clean Harbors has agreed to submit to EPA written plans for minimizing the possibility of release of hazardous wastes from a building within the facility and for addressing cracks and gaps in secondary containment for tank and container storage. The company will also submit quarterly reports to EPA detailing inspections of its hazardous waste container storage areas and secondary containment, and will document steps taken to correct any issues of concern. The company has already installed an appropriate emissions control device on its hazardous waste tanks, at an estimated cost of $152,000.