Settlement Resolves Mercury Waste Case

Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. has agreed to pay a $68,475 civil penalty and to spend at least $300,000 to build a state-of-the art hazardous waste storage facility.

Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., a veterinary health products company, has agreed to pay a $68,475 civil penalty to settle a series of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act violations stemming from its mishandling of mercury waste in St. Joseph, Mo., EPA announced. The company generates mercury as part of its vaccine production process. Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. has certified it is now in compliance with all requirements of the RCRA regulations.

Along with paying the civil penalty, the company will spend at least $300,000 to build a state-of-the art hazardous waste storage facility at the site as part of a supplemental environmental project. The administrative consent agreement and final order filed by EPA Region 7 in Kansas City, Kansas, offers details of EPA's inspection of the St. Joseph facilities in May 2010.

"The proper handling and management of hazardous waste is an integral part of protecting human health and the environment," said EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks. "In the event of an accidental release on site or while in transport, proper labeling, storing, and management practices can help reduce the risk of exposure to hazardous material by response personnel, as well as reduce risk to public health by identifying the necessary and proper cleanup methods."

The violations covered by the settlement included failure to perform hazardous waste determinations on multiple waste streams, storing hazardous wastes without a RCRA permit, failing to comply with generator requirements, sending hazardous waste containing mercury to a non-authorized facility, transporting hazardous waste without a hazardous waste transporter license or manifest, failing to comply with universal waste lamp requirements, and failing to comply with recycled used oil management standards.