During an inspection, EPA discovered that a company was not analyzing the waste from its laboratory.
Enforcement Action Alleging Lab Waste Was Hazardous
EPA initiated an enforcement action, alleging the company violated the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) by 1) failing to determine that the waste was hazardous; 2) treating, storing, and disposing of hazardous waste without a RCRA permit; 3) using two unlabeled belowground tanks, which had no secondary containment, no leak detection system, and other design deficiencies; and 4) disposing of 364,450 tons of waste without proper treatment.
According to EPA’s news release, the company agreed to pay a $600,000 penalty and to “remove the tanks that held hazardous waste and clean up any contamination.”
According to EPA’s more detailed allegations in the Consent Agreement, at least some of the wastes generated in connection with tests run in the lab were “hazardous wastes at the point of generation.” The company allegedly placed hazardous lab waste in unpermitted belowground tanks, treated the waste in those tanks without a permit, and then disposed of the treated waste on-site in violation of RCRA’s land disposal restrictions. In addition to the penalty, the Consent Agreement requires the company to close the two belowground tank areas in accordance with RCRA requirements.
To see EPA’s news release, which has a link to the Consent Agreement, https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/northern-star-pogo-llc-penalized-600000-hazardous-waste-management-violations