EPA Proposes $643,908 Penalty for RCRA TSD Violations at Von Roll Ohio

July 05, 2005

EPA Region 5 has filed an administrative complaint against Von Roll America Inc. for alleged violations of its federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act permit and regulations.

The violations, related to four counts of management and incineration of hazardous waste, include failure to:

  • properly route air emissions through an EPA-approved air pollution control device
  • replace absorbing carbon boxes that control air emissions from waste storage tanks
  • meet incinerator stack emissions permit by releasing five times the dioxin limits allowed during a test
  • prepare a written manifest for hazardous waste shipped off site

Von Roll America, one of two commercial hazardous waste incinerators in the six-state Region 5 area, is located in East Liverpool, Ohio. EPA regulates hazardous waste from its production to final disposal.

EPA Proposes Emission Standards for Stationary Diesel Engines

As part of a nationwide effort to control fine particle and ground-level ozone pollution, EPA proposed emission standards for stationary diesel engines. The proposed standards, known as New Source Performance Standards, will reduce harmful emissions of nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons from new, modified, and reconstructed stationary diesel internal combustion engines. The standards will subject stationary diesel engines to the same levels as EPAÆs nonroad diesel engine rule.

As proposed, the rule will affect 81,500 new stationary diesel engines and result in total pollutant reductions of over 68,000 tons in 2015. Emissions reductions will occur gradually from 2005 to 2015, reaching reductions of 90 percent or more from baseline levels in some cases. EPA estimates the total nationwide annual costs for the rule to be $57 million in the year 2015.

Stationary diesel internal combustion engines are used to generate electricity and operate compressors at facilities such as power and manufacturing plants. They are also used in emergencies to produce electricity and pump water for flood and fire control. EPA will accept comments on this proposed rule for 60 days following publication of the proposed rule in the Federal Register.

30 Year Prison Sentence for Falsifying Lab Results

Michael Klusaritz of Whitehall, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in district court to mail fraud and making false statements. Klusaritz could be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison, a $750,000 fine, three years supervised release, and a mandatory $300 special victim/witness assessment.

While an employee of Boyko's Petroleum Services, Inc., Klusaritz falsified laboratory reports, forged signatures, and prepared false underground storage tank (UST) closure reports. Between October 2001 and October 2003, Boyko's billed its customers more than $110,000 for the false reports. Klusaritz had a previous conviction for falsifying environmental test results.

EPA Places Superfund Lien, Hopes to Recover $27 Million in Costs

EPA has placed liens on 554 acres of land at a former mine in Clear Lake, California in order to recuperate $27 million for past cleanup costs. EPA's response actions to-date include stabilizing waste piles, erosion control measures, removal of contaminated soil, site investigations, and the emergency closure of some geo-thermal exploration wells. The Agency estimates that it may cost $40 million more to complete the remaining cleanup activities.

Liens are legal actions that can bar a property owner from selling a property without the lien enactor's permission. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) at 42 USC 9607(l) provides EPA with the authority to enact a lien against the title of the property upon which response actions have been taken. Liens are placed on remediation sites to recover cleanup costs already incurred by EPA and to ensure that potentially responsible parties do not profit from the increased value of property improved by EPA through the cleanup process.

The property is part of the former Sulphur Bank Mercury Mine and is owned by Bradley Mining Company and Worthen Bradley Trust. Mining activities at the site began in 1865 and continued off and on until the site was abandoned in 1975. Mercury ore was the primary product after the site was initially mined for sulfur. The remaining waste piles contain heavy metals including mercury, arsenic, and antimony and are the source of mercury polluting the local ground and surface water. The site also includes an open pit mine known as the Herman Impoundment where acidic water contaminated with heavy metals has accumulated. The site has been on the National Priorities List since 1990.

The impact of contamination from the mine on the local environment has been documented primarily through the bioaccumulation of mercury found in plants, animals, and soils in the nearby Clear Lake ecosystem. The State of California has issued fishing advisories for Clear Lake due to the high mercury levels. The heavy metals contaminating the site, including antimony and mercury, are toxic to people and the environment. For additional information, contact Larry Bradfish, EPA Region 9, bradfish.larry@epa.gov.

Energy Efficiency Increased in Commercial Buildings

The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) will launch a multi-year campaign to increase energy efficiency at 9 billion square feet of commercial properties. The association started the energy efficiency program on June 28 at its annual conference in Anaheim, Calif., with the first of six training sessions on operational excellence.

The campaign, developed in partnership with EPA under its Energy Star Challenge, is designed to educate association members about the financial and environmental benefits of improving energy efficiency, train commercial building operators and owners on strategic energy management, and recognize members who demonstrate energy savings of 10, 20, 30 percent or more. Because energy is the single largest operating cost in an office building, representing 30 percent of a typical building's costs, the value of these savings is substantial for the bottom line -- and the environment.

The campaign was developed by the Building Owners and Managers Association Foundation and a task force of industry leaders, including USAA Realty, Cushman & Wakefield, the Lurie Company, Trammell Crow, Jones Lang LaSalle, Transwestern Commercial Services and others in coordination with EPA.

K & L Microwave, Inc. First Company in Maryland to Enroll in Voluntary Partnership

EPA mid-Atlantic Region Deputy Director Wayne Naylor recognized K & L Microwave, Inc. for being the first company in Maryland to enroll in the voluntary national partnership for environmental priorities.

ôAs a member of the Salisbury business community, K & L has taken steps to go above and beyond environmental compliance. This leading manufacturer is finding new and innovative ways to reduce pollution while still making a viable product and earning a profit. ThatÆs no small effort,ö said Naylor. ôIn a new era of common understanding and shared goals, voluntary partnerships like this are an essential way of advancing environmental protection.ö

The new voluntary program challenges businesses and manufacturers to become more environmentally aware and to adopt a resource conservation ethic that results in less waste, more recycling, and more environmentally sound products.

K & L Microwave, Inc. is a leading producer of RF and microwave filters used in defense electronics and commercial wireless communications systems. Its products are used in satellite communications, radar, radio communications, missile guidance systems, air traffic control, and cellular communications.

K & L has a history of sound environmental business practices. They have been registered ISO 14001 (the voluntary international standard for environmental auditing, performance evaluation, labeling, and life-cycle assessment) since January 2003. They have had an active recycling program for the past five years in which they have recycled more than 700 tons of metal (equivalent to 200 elephants) including aluminum and brass. K&L has invested in designing and building a new plating shop and water treatment system, which has resulted in reducing from discharges 30,000 gallons/day to zero using a closed loop water treatment system. They have also reduced electric power usage by installing new technology machines and energy efficient equipment.

By joining the national partnership, the company has pledged to make further environmental improvements. As a new waste minimization partner, K & L has committed to reducing lead from 400 pounds/year to 50 pounds/year by 2006 by substituting non-leaded solders and non-leaded tin where possible in its manufacturing processes.

By making this commitment to reduce lead in its waste, K & L Microwave, Inc. will be able to reduce disposal and management costs, improve worker health and safety, and decrease the impacts of regulatory requirements. Moreover, by removing lead from their products, K & L will be able to reduce the future environmental liability of others who discard the products at the end of their use.

Region 5 Address Clean Air Act and RCRA Violations

EPA Region 5 has cited Alton Steel Inc. for alleged clean-air violations at the company's steel manufacturing plant in Alton, Ill.

EPA alleges that Alton Steel failed to comply with federal emissions monitoring, recordkeeping and reporting requirements for its electric arc furnace and other equipment that can emit gases containing particulates (dust, smoke, ash).

EPA Region 5 also cited Rea Magnet Wire Co. Inc. for alleged clean-air violations at two copper and aluminum magnet wire manufacturing plants in Indiana. One plant is in Fort Wayne and the other is in Lafayette.

EPA alleges that Rea Magnet violated its state operating permits at both plants by failing to operate its volatile organic compound control devices at a temperature hot enough to adequately destroy VOC emissions, and that it used coatings at the Lafayette plant with a higher VOC level than permitted.

Enforcement and Compliance Initiative Addresses Longstanding Odor Problems at New Jersey Turnpike Exit 13

The EPA announced the completion of an enforcement and compliance initiative to reduce sources of pollution in and around the vicinity of Exit 13 of the New Jersey Turnpike, which includes Linden and Elizabeth, N.J. The Exit 13 Initiative began in response to EPA's concern about the possible environmental violations contributing to the longstanding odor problems in the area.

"Air emissions in the vicinity of Exit 13 can pose health risks and contribute to air pollution and environmental degradation," said Acting EPA Regional Administrator Kathleen Callahan. "EPA will continue to keep a watchful eye on these emissions to ensure that the health and safety of the people of Linden and Elizabeth are protected."

The Exit 13 Initiative was carried out by EPA and joined by NJDEP to work as a team. The team began by reviewing air studies, previously conducted in the vicinity, to determine potential pollutants of concern. Subsequently, the team conducted sampling and analyses to pinpoint sources of pollution and reviewed available data to better understand the range of industrial processes in the area. The team also visually surveyed the area to find potential pollution sources.

After compiling the data to pinpoint potential sources, inspections were conducted at facilities in the vicinity of Exit 13, primarily bulk gasoline loading terminals in Linden and Elizabeth. Inspections found that the ConocoPhillips Tremley Point Terminal in Linden was in violation of air monitoring requirements; the ST Linden Terminal was in violation of emissions testing, reporting, monitoring and record-keeping requirements; Infineum's Bayway Chemical Plant in Linden had emissions and permit violations; and Exxon Mobil and Gulf Oil both had record-keeping violations. EPA and NJDEP have taken enforcement actions to correct these violations.

EPA has also reached a major settlement with the ConocoPhillips Bayway facility will improve the environment in the area around Exit 13, in Linden. This settlement affects all the ConocoPhillips refineries nationwide and is consistent with similar settlements around the country that will bring most of the domestic refining capacity into compliance with the Clean Air Act. For the Bayway refinery, by December 31, 2008, ConocoPhillips will expend at least $8 million to install an American Petroleum Institute oil/water separator cover. This will reduce volatile organic compound emissions by at least 95% and will reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide and associated odors.

EPA and NJDEP further identified three industrial sectors for potential follow-up assistance: architectural coatings, auto refinishers and cold degreasers. As a result, NJDEP's Small Business Assistance Program (SBAP) conducted compliance assistance visits at auto refinishing shops in the Exit 13 area during spring 2005. The SBAP completed 14 site visits in Linden, Elizabeth, Rahway and Irvington and mailed out 31 guidance documents to facilities in Linden and Elizabeth. The SBAP informed these shops on proper surface coating application methods, acceptable spray gun cleaning methods, keeping records of volatile organic compound content in their surface coatings, employee training requirements and good housekeeping practices for paints and solvents.

In this cooperative action with the NJDEP, EPA was able to assess a range of potential environmental impacts on a well-defined geographic area, and take steps to enforce the law, while strengthening industry's ability to comply with the law.

EPA Removes Methyl Ethyl Ketone from Form R Reporting Requirements

To comply with a US District court order issued on June 13, EPA has deleted methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) from the list of chemicals in 40 CFR 372.65 that are subject to reporting under section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA) and section 6607 of the Pollution Prevention Act of 1990 (PPA). This action, which was published at 70 FR 125 Pages 37698-37700, means that you will no longer be required under EPCRA section 313 to report releases of and other waste management information on MEK, including those that occurred during the 2004 reporting year. This action does not have any impact on your reporting requirements under EPCRA sections 311 and 312.

In the Federal Register of March 30, 1998 (63 FR 15195), EPA issued a Denial of Petition titled "Methyl Ethyl Ketone; Toxic Chemical Release Reporting; Community Right-to-Know." The denial was in response to a petition from the Ketones Panel of the Chemical Manufacturers Association (CMA) that requested the deletion of methyl ethyl ketone from the list of chemicals reportable under EPCRA section 313 and PPA section 6607.

The American Chemistry Council (formerly CMA) filed suit challenging EPA's decision in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Subsequently, the court granted summary judgment in favor of EPA. On appeal, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed the lower court's decision, vacating the lower court's decision, and directing the district court to issue an order to "direct EPA to delete MEK from the TRI." 406 F.3d 738, 742 (D.C. Cir. 2005).

Revised and Updated Hazardous Waste Generator Handbook Now Available

Ohio EPA's Division of Hazardous Waste Management has completely revised the Hazardous Waste Generator Handbook. The newly updated handbook contains information pertaining to hazardous waste evaluation, hazardous waste generator categories and requirements, universal waste requirements, used oil management, pollution prevention opportunities and hazardous waste inspections. In addition, the handbook contains a sample contingency plan, information on obtaining a U.S. EPA identification number, manifest instructions, how to select an analytical laboratory and how to select a treatment, storage and disposal facility.

External and internal hyperlinks have been added to the table of contents, to numerous keywords and to each rule citation. These embedded links not only aid in document navigation, but also provide quick reference to various related information resources. We encourage you to read this electronic guidance on-line to reduce the amount of paper used.

Misbranded Pesticides Bring Fines to Two US Companies and One German Company

EPA fined two Fresno, Calif. companies and one German company $17,248 for the alleged sale and distribution of a misbranded pesticide in violation of federal pesticide regulations. The two Fresno firms, Creative Marketing & Research, and Lawn and Garden Products, Inc., and the German owner and registrant of the pesticide product, W. Neudorff GMBH KG, were cited for selling and distributing a pesticide product known as QUIK-RTU, a lawn herbicide, without all required information on its label.

ôFederal law requires that pesticide labels carry all proper use and warning instructions," said Enrique Manzanilla, director of the EPA's Communities and Ecosystems Division. "Consumers need the proper use information to ensure they are applying pesticide products safely and correctly."

The three companies failed to provide the application rate for QUIK-RTU on the pesticide's label, thus failing to provide all directions necessary to protect health and the environment. As part of the settlement, the three companies have agreed to add the missing information to the labels for all future sales and distribution of the pesticide.

Before selling or distributing any pesticide in the United States, companies must register the pesticide with the EPA. Each producer, seller, and distributor is required to ensure that the registered pesticide is labeled with an EPS registration number and information concerning the producer and brand name, as well as directions for use and other information necessary to protect consumers and the environment.

Gunite Fined $117,810 for PCB Violations

EPA Region 5 recently settled a civil administrative complaint against Gunite Corp. of Rockford, Ill., for violations of federal rules on PCBs. The company will pay a fine of $69,510 and complete an environmental project costing at least $48,300.

Gunite was cited in nine counts for failure to:

  • develop and maintain records and annual document logs in the years 1999-2002
  • keep records of inspections and maintenance history for six PCB transformers
  • register its PCB transformers with EPA.

In addition to paying the fine, Gunite has agreed to dispose of all four PCB transformers that remain on the property and any residual oil or liquid in them. The company will submit documents to EPA throughout the removal process to ensure that all PCB disposal regulations are met.