The Federal Aviation Administration, Southern Region, has proposed to assess a $70,000 civil penalty against Sturdisteel Company of Waco, Texas, for allegedly violating Department of Transportation hazardous materials regulations.
FAA alleges that Sturdisteel Company improperly offered a fiberboard box containing eight 12.5-ounce aerosol cans of "Brite Zinc Galvanizing Compound," a flammable gas, to UPS for transportation by air. Ground handling employees at the Federal Express sort facility in Memphis, Tenn., discovered the shipment leaking.
Sturdisteel Company offered the hazardous materials for transportation when they were not packaged, labeled, marked, classed, described, documented, or in condition for shipment as required by regulations. Sturdisteel Company also failed to ensure employees were trained to properly package and handle hazardous materials, and did not make available at all times the required emergency response information.
Sturdisteel Company has 30 days from receipt of the FAA notice to
submit a reply to the agency.
UPCOMING DEADLINES - CLEAN AIR ACT
January 20 - Each owner or operator of an existing facility producing amino/phenolic resins that is subject to the national emission standards described under 40 CFR 63, Subpart OOO must submit a precompliance report.
January 21 - Sources subject to organic hazardous air pollutant emission controls under 40 CFR 63, Subpart H, for equipment leaks from Group V chemical process units must submit semiannual reports.
January 22 - Sources subject to organic hazardous air pollutant emission controls under 40 CFR 63, Subpart H, for equipment leaks from Group I chemical process units must submit semiannual reports.
January 23 - Sources subject to organic hazardous air pollutant
emission controls under 40 CFR 63, Subpart H, for equipment leaks
from Group III chemical process units must submit semiannual
U.S., CALIFORNIA REACH $15 MILLION SETTLEMENT ON CASMALIA AGREEMENT RESOLVES STATE'S LANDFILL LIABILITY AT CENTRAL COAST SITE
The Justice Department and EPA announced a $14.95 million settlement with the state of California resolving the state's liability at the Casmalia Resources Superfund Site near Santa Maria in Central California.
Under the proposed settlement, the state will also waive claims against most parties for reimbursement of $1.4 million in past cleanup costs incurred by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control. The state will also waive all past and future cleanup claims against the United States.
The EPA has identified more than two dozen state entities which sent waste to the site, making them liable for cleanup costs under the Superfund law. The state sent approximately 220 million pounds of waste to Casmalia during its 16 years of operation. The state's largest waste contributors were the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board and Caltrans.
"This settlement is a fair resolution of the state's liability at the site for the cleanup costs," said Acting Assistant Attorney General John Cruden. "It allows the EPA and the state to avoid liability disputes and to coordinate as regulatory agencies to ensure efficient cleanup of the site. We commend the State for coming forward and settling this case which will assist in the cleanup."
"Our agreement with the state provides much-needed funding to continue cleanup activities at one of the state's most complex hazardous waste sites," said Jane Diamond, the EPA's Pacific Southwest acting director for Superfund. "We look forward to continuing our partnership with the state of California in limiting the impacts this site has on the local ecosystem and surrounding community."
This announcement is part of an ongoing EPA effort to secure
funding for the cleanup of the 252-acre landfill, which was
designated as a federal Superfund site in September 2001. A
60-day public comment period on the proposed settlement will
begin in the next several weeks.
U.S. ANNOUNCES $340 MILLION SETTLEMENT FOR OPERATING INDUSTRIES SUPERFUND SITE
EPA and the Department of Justice announced a $340 million settlement with 161 responsible parties and the state of California for the Operating Industries Inc. Superfund site in Monterey Park, California.
This settlement, the eighth since 1986, will provide for the implementation of the final clean up remedy and associated costs at the 190-acre landfill site. To date, settlements between all involved parties have totaled over $600 million.
The landfill operated from 1948 to 1984 and accepted industrial and municipal wastes. More than 12 years of non-stop construction have now nearly contained the contamination.
When completed, the OII clean up, which began in 1984, will protect human health and the environment from the release and migration of contaminants from the landfill. A leachate treatment system, landfill gas collection system and a landfill cover have been constructed. Additional systems will treat landfill liquids collected from extraction wells on site.
The United States has entered into seven prior consent decrees and EPA has issued two unilateral orders for the site. This settlement reserves some remaining items of clean up work for which EPA expects to issue orders to remaining recalcitrant parties.
"This exceptional settlement will provide the necessary money and
work commitments to assure the full implementation of the EPA
remedy for the Operating Industries Site," said Acting Assistant
Attorney General John C. Cruden. "This is a tribute to the hard
work of all of the parties involved, and the willingness of the
companies to accept responsibility and assure the protection of
human health and the environment."
GRANT TO DEVELOP MARKETABLE ENERGY FROM LANDFILLS IN SEVEN NORTH CAROLINA COUNTIES
EPA has awarded $50,000 to the Blue Ridge Resource Conservation and Development Council of Sugar Grove, N.C., to develop marketable energy from gas at seven small landfills in the state.
Besides the economic benefits, this grant will reduce global warming gases and reward local communities with cleaner air and better-managed and safer landfills.
Landfill gas can be captured and sold as an energy source for a number of purposes, the most common being generation of electricity at electric utilities. Other uses include generating heat and electricity in industrial facilities; substituting for or supplementing natural gas; and producing compressed natural gas for auto fuel.
Landfill gas is about half methane and half carbon dioxide, with small amounts of other organic compounds. The methane portion is what makes the gas saleable.
Methane, virtually identical to natural gas, contributes 18 percent of all global warming emissions, and is about 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide (the primary greenhouse gas) in trapping heat in the earth's atmosphere. Landfills are the largest human-generated source of methane in the country, contributing about 37 percent of all emissions. Methane also contributes to the formation of smog and poses an explosion hazard if uncontrolled.
This project will demonstrate different clean technologies for utilizing landfill gas; establish a research center dedicated to the study of landfill gas and other renewable resources; and provide assistance to seven landfill sites in western North Carolina.: Yancey/Mitchell County; Avery County; Wilkes County; Wilkes County Germantown; Alleghany County; Watauga County Landfill; and Ashe County. This project can serve as a model for other small landfills interested in marketing their landfill gas.
Since 1996, EPA has had a national rule that controls air pollution from large landfills that emit more than 50 megagrams per year of non-methane organic compounds. Under the rule, the landfills are required to capture the gas anyway, so they have an incentive to take the next logical step and sell it as an energy source. However, hundreds of smaller landfills are not subject to the rule, and have less incentive to develop gas utilization projects. Collectively, these small landfills, more than 900 nationwide, emit enough landfill gas to generate more than 1100 megawatts of power, enough to heat more than 700,000 homes per year. Also, by capturing and selling this amount of gas, nearly 10 million tons of global warming gases are prevented from entering the atmosphere, an action equivalent to removing almost 10 million cars from America's roads each year.
Information on EPA's national Landfill Methane Outreach Program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from small landfills is available at http://www.epa.gov/lmop/
For further technical information, contact Brian Guzzone of EPA
at 202-564-2666 (email@example.com)
DOT ENFORCING PROHIBITED PLACARD RESTRICTIONS ON TRUCKS
In an effort to protect the traveling public, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that it is enforcing a requirement prohibiting motor carriers from placing extraneous information on placards and in placard holders. These devices are reserved for hazardous materials information.
This action enforces a requirement of the Department's Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) that prohibits in the placard holder any sign, advertisement, slogan (such as "Drive Safely") or device that could be confused with any placard containing hazardous materials information.
The prohibition, which became effective Oct. 1, 2001, subjects violators to a civil penalty of at least $250 and not more than $27,500 per violation and possible additional enforcement action by FMCSA.
FMCSA believes that extraneous information displayed on placards, placard type displays and in placard holders detracts from the basic function of the placard and reduces the ability of emergency responders to readily recognize vital hazard alerting information. Placards must be strictly reserved for hazards communication and all other confusing or conflicting displays prohibited.
FMCSA is instructing anyone with questions concerning the
enforcement of this rule to contact the nearest FMCSA Service
Center Monday through Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Contact the Eastern Service Center, (202) 366-6892; Southern,
(404)-562-3600; Midwestern, (708) 283-3565; or Western, (415)
744-3088. On weekends, holidays or after hours, contact the
24-hour Department of Transportation Safety Hotline at
FAA PROPOSES $72,000 PENALTY AGAINST ALPA INTERNATIONAL FOR HAZMAT VIOLATIONS
The FAA, Southern Region, has proposed to assess a $72,000 civil penalty against Alpa International, Inc. of Miami, Fla., for allegedly violating Department of Transportation hazardous materials regulations.
FAA alleges that Alpa International, Inc improperly offered three pallets containing 27 fiberboard boxes, each of which held 24 600-milliliter bottles of petroleum distillates, a flammable liquid, to Lan Chile Cargo for transportation by air. Ground handling employees at the Lan Chile Cargo sort facility in Miami, Fla., discovered the shipment while separating boxes for loading aboard an aircraft.
Alpa International, Inc offered the hazardous materials for transportation when they were not packaged, labeled, marked, classed, described, documented, or in condition for shipment as required by regulations. Alpa International, Inc. also failed to ensure that employees were trained to properly package and handle hazardous materials, and did not make available at all times the required emergency response information.
Alpa International, Inc has 30 days from receipt of the FAA notice to submit a reply to the agency.