Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary Pays $38,100 Penalty

The Federal Bureau of Prisons and the Federal Prison Industries have paid a $38,100 penalty to settle a lawsuit alleging hazardous waste and Clean Air Act violations at the Lewisburg Federal Prison, in Union Co., Pa., EPA announced on Oct. 11.

"Like all private and public facilities, prisons have a duty to comply with laws protecting public health and the environment," said EPA Region 3 Administrator Donald S. Welsh. "The Lewisburg prison case is part of EPA's effort to ensure correctional facilities are complying with environmental regulations."

The agreement resolves the alleged violations discovered during a comprehensive inspection of the prison in July 2004. At the time of the inspection, Federal Prison Industries Inc., also known as UNICOR, was manufacturing metal lockers at the facility and using a paint booth that was not covered under the facility's air permit. The paint booth, which was used to powder coat the metal lockers, was a source of air emissions of particulate matter. Other alleged violations include storing hazardous waste without a permit and improperly labeling waste paint containers, waste organic adhesives, and 55-gallon waste drums.

In addition to the settlement announced today, the Federal Bureau of Prisons recently agreed to self-audit all sixteen of its prisons in the mid-Atlantic region. The Bureau of Prisons will disclose all EPA-enforceable regulatory violations discovered during the audit and will correct these violations within 60 days. To learn more about EPA's self-audit policy, visit http://www.epa.gov/compliance/incentives/auditing/auditpolicy.html.

EPA?s mid-Atlantic regional office has an ongoing prison initiative which includes comprehensive inspections, enforcement and compliance assistance. Lewisburg Federal Prison was the 11th prison inspected as part of this initiative. There are over 100 state, federal and local prisons presently operating in the mid-Atlantic region. For additional information on the prison initiative visit http://www.epa.gov/region03/compliance_assistance/prisons.htm.

This article originally appeared in the 10/01/2007 issue of Environmental Protection.

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