Frequent Hazardous Waste Manifest Errors

July 30, 2007

 Because hazardous waste generators in all states must use the same manifest, no matter what state they are in, you should review your manifests to ensure you don’t make these common mistakes, which could lead to misdirected enforcement efforts, bad data about your operations being available on the web site to the public, and correction fees for you.

  • Missing information: No EPA identification number for generator, transporter, or facility; no container counts; no quantities, missing waste codes and dates, and missing second transporter when one will be used. Also, EPA ID numbers have a combination of 12 digits and letters – any more or less and you know you have a problem.
  • Inaccurate information: Numbers transposed, particularly EPA IDs; incorrect dates, using the wrong unit of measure, such as tons when the waste should be in pounds (potentially very costly in fee billings); incorrect container counts or quantities; using decimals or fractions in Item 11, Total Weight.
  • Pre-printed waste streams not struck out: If you use pre-printed manifests (including consolidated transporters), and you do not fully line-out all waste streams that are not going to be used, subsequent transporters, destination facilities, and regulators cannot determine whether you forgot to put in a quantity, the waste got lost, or the generator did not have the waste you expected. Be sure to draw the line all of the way through the fields in that section, from margin to margin.
  • Using multiple lines for the same transporter: Sometimes, one transporter company will use a different line every time the driver changes. This is not allowed. No matter how many drivers are involved, each line is for the transporter company (the one with the same DTSC registration number). Switching drivers does not allow you to extend the 10-day maximum holding time at an exempt transfer facility.
  • Generator and transporter name and identification number are mismatched. The names used on the manifest for the generator and transporter should be exactly the same as they appear as assigned to the EPA ID number and transporter registration, respectively. The generator’s site address should match what is on record, as well.
  • Generators shipping past the authorized time-frame. In California, if a generator’s EPA ID begins with CAC or CAP, these are for 90-day authorization only. For State issued CAC numbers, you should go on-line to verify that the shipment date is within 90 days of the date DTSC issued the number.


Generally, you can correct most errors on manifests by sending your state’s environmental agency a manifest correction letter. You can use one letter to report a set of manifests on which the same correction applies. In California, as an incentive for self-reporting, DTSC generally does not charge the legally authorized $20 per manifest handling charge if you file the correction letter before DTSC sends you a letter requesting the correction. As DTSC’s data collection and analysis systems improve, DTSC will identify manifest errors much sooner and charge more correction fees.

Impact of Climate Legislation


United States Senators Mary L. Landrieu (D-La.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), and John W. Warner (R-Va.) introduced bipartisan legislation that will protect consumers and businesses from the potential runaway costs and economic instability resulting from climate change legislation being developed in Congress.

Cap-and-trade legislation, which is currently being reviewed in the Senate, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by creating a new market where permits for emitting greenhouse gases will be traded and sold. The new market could be worth hundreds of billions of dollars, offering tremendous opportunity and significant risk.

The bipartisan measure introduced works to mitigate the economic impacts of any cap-and-trade law. It creates a Carbon Market Efficiency Board, modeled on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, to ensure the market for allowances, or tradable permits to emit greenhouse gases, will be efficient, stable, and transparent. The Carbon Market Efficiency Board will exert strong market oversight, and protect consumers and businesses from economic instability and severe price spikes.

When necessary, this independent panel can control adverse economic impact of the new cap-and-trade market by:

  • Increasing the amount of allowances that industries can borrow from allocations in future years
  • Expanding the amount of time allotted to borrowers to repay their allowances
  • Lowering the interest rate for borrowing allowances


Expanding the total amount of allowances allocated in a given year by borrowing from the total number of allowances that will be granted in future years.

Do They Have to Go to Jail If They Violate the Law?


More than a dozen federal prisons – housing an estimated 20,000 inmates in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia – will undergo an environmental check to see if they are meeting regulations for controlling air and water pollution, hazardous waste, and other environmental risks.

Under an agreement with the EPA, the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Prisons will voluntarily audit 16 of its prison facilities in the EPA’s mid-Atlantic region, joining a growing number of companies and organizations that have agreed to self-police their environmental compliance and disclose violations they may find.

Regional Administrator Donald S. Welsh lauded the federal Bureau of Prisons. “Correctional institutions have many environmental matters to consider in protecting the health of inmates, employees, and the communities where they’re located. By volunteering to check its facilities and fix problems that may exist, the bureau is demonstrating its environmental responsibility.”

Under the audit agreement, the Bureau of Prisons has agreed to disclose all EPA-enforceable regulatory violations discovered during the audit and to correct the violations within 60 days. The Bureau of Prisons has contracted with an environmental company, Aarcher, Inc., headquartered in Annapolis, Md., to perform three initial audits at the U.S. Penitentiary Canaan in Waymart, Pa., Federal Correctional Institution Loretto in Loretto, Pa., and Federal Correctional Institution Cumberland in Cumberland, Md. Aarcher will use these facilities to develop the criteria for conducting all the audits as well as protocols and checklists. The Bureau of Prisons will then conduct audits at the remaining 13 facilities using its own personnel or a contractor.

Under EPA’s audit policy, prisons that come forward to report their violations can reduce, and in some cases, eliminate penalties as long as: 1) the violations cause no direct harm to public health or the environment; 2) violations are corrected immediately; and 3) the facility has an overall good track record. EPA’s audit policy has been a successful incentive in getting various business and industry sectors to check for compliance with all environmental laws.

Potential environmental hazards at federal prisons are associated with various operations such as heating and cooling, wastewater treatment, hazardous waste and trash disposal, asbestos management, drinking water supply, pesticide use, and vehicle maintenance.

Inmate training programs, offered at most institutions, also have their own unique environmental challenges. A dry cleaning operation, for example, would use perchloroethylene, a hazardous material, to clean fabric. A furniture refinishing shop or a woodworking shop would use methylene chloride to strip off old varnish or polyurethane to protect the raw wood. Both of these are hazardous materials that need special handling.

Federal prisons to be audited:

U.S. Penitentiary (USP) - Canaan, Waymart, Pa.
Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Loretto, Loretto, Pa.
FCI Cumberland, Cumberland, Md.
Allenwood Federal Corrections Complex – three facilities, White Deer, Pa.
USP Lewisburg, Lewisburg, Pa.
FCI McKean, Lewis Run, Pa.
FCI Schuylkill, Minersville, Pa.
Federal Detention Center, Philadelphia, Pa.
USP Lee, Pennington Gap, Va.
FCI Gilmer, Glenville, W. Va.
FCI Beckley, Beaver, W. Va.
Federal Prison Camp, Alderson, W.Va
FCI Morgantown, Morgantown, W.Va.
USP Hazelton, Bruceton Mills, W.Va.

EPA is Looking for Water Efficiency Leaders


EPA is accepting nominations for the 2007 Water Efficiency Leader Awards to recognize organizations and individuals that demonstrate leadership and innovation in water efficient products and practices. Winners will be chosen by a panel of national water experts and based on three criteria: leadership, innovation, and water saved.

The Water Efficiency Leader (WEL) Awards foster an ethic of water efficiency, which is critical to our economy and quality of life. Water and energy are closely linked: For example, running a hot water faucet for five minutes consumes as much energy as using a 60-watt light bulb for 14 hours. Water efficiency also is supported through WaterSense, a partnership Program sponsored by EPA to educate and offer consumers choices of water-efficient products.

Nominations for the Water Efficiency Leader Awards must be postmarked by August 17, 2007. It is anticipated that the winners will be announced in late fall 2007. Candidates may be organizations or individuals from anywhere in the United States. They may work in either the public or the private sector, and may be self-nominated or nominated by a third party.

Organizations and individuals interested in applying for the 2007 WEL Awards must complete a short application form and provide a one page (single sided) description of the project or activities being nominated. Up to two pages of supporting materials (two single pages or one double sided page) also may be submitted, see application form on the EPA website for details.


Property Manager Pays for Lead-Based Paint Violations


Under the terms of a settlement with the EPA, Sunview Properties must spend $216,664 in lead paint removal and pay a $31,000 fine over alleged violations of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act in connection with the leasing of 25 rental units located in San Diego, Calif.

The two residential rental properties with the most lead paint disclosure violations are at 2860 "B" Street and 2610 "C" Street in San Diego. Sunview Properties failed to provide EPA-approved lead information pamphlet to renters, include a lead warning statement in leases, identify any records available regarding lead-based paint in the units, and obtain signatures and dates from renters confirming they had received the materials, violating federal lead-based paint disclosure laws.

“EPA encourages this commitment by Sunview Properties to remove lead-based paint at its residential properties,” said Nathan Lau, associate director of the EPA’s Communities and Ecosystems Division for the Pacific Southwest region. "This work will ensure that children who live at these buildings are not exposed to lead-based paint hazards in the future.”

For the lead removal project, Sunview Properties agreed to identify lead-based paint at residential rental properties it owns and manages and remove all lead identified in order to certify the property as “lead free” with the State of California.

An estimated three-quarters of the U.S. housing stock built before 1978 contains some lead-based paint. Lead poisoning in children can have serious, long-term consequences including learning disabilities, hearing impairment, and behavioral problems. Children under six years of age are among the most vulnerable to adverse health risks from lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards such as dust and contaminated soil.


  • Include lead notification language in sales and rental forms
  • Disclose any known lead-based paint hazards and provide reports to buyers or renters
  • Allow a lead inspection or risk assessment by home buyers
  • Maintain records certifying compliance with applicable federal requirements for three years

Federal Environmental Complaint Filed in ChemCentral Explosion, Fire


The explosion and fire that destroyed the ChemCentral facility in Kansas City, Mo., Feb. 7 has led to a civil complaint filed by the EPA. 

The explosion occurred when ChemCentral was transferring “Indopol,” a fuel additive used in sealants, coatings, lubricants, cling film, and adhesives. Indopol is a trade name for polybutene.

EPA’s Region 7 office in Kansas City, Kan., and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated the explosion for possible violations of environmental and public health laws. EPA’s investigation found that ChemCentral violated the Clean Air Act by failing to identify chemical hazards and failing to design and maintain a safe facility.

EPA also found that ChemCentral violated the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act by failing to submit a chemical inventory form for Indopol to the local emergency planning committee, the state emergency response commission, and the local fire department. The inventory, due by March 1 each year, provides information on chemical storage locations and physical or health hazards, which is critical for emergency planning and first response activities.

ChemCentral could be liable for penalties of up to $32,500 per day for each violation of the two laws. The complaint proposes a penalty of $434,260. EPA’s complaint also requires the facility to comply with regulations. The federal laws are intended to inform citizens about chemicals in their community, prevent releases of hazardous chemicals, protect the community and emergency responders if there is an accidental release, and improve emergency response to releases.

California Rule to Reduce Emissions from Off-road Equipment


The California Air Resources Board last week adopted a new rule aimed at reducing diesel emissions from the state's estimated 180,000 "off-road" vehicles used in construction, mining, airport ground support, and other industries.

Diesel particulate matter, or diesel "soot," was identified as a toxic air contaminant in 1998. In 2000, the ARB established California's Diesel Risk Reduction Plan, which aims to reduce diesel emissions to 85% below 2000 levels by 2020. Other sources of diesel particulate matter such as transit buses, trash trucks, cargo-handling equipment, and ship auxiliary engines have already been addressed through regulations, along with diesel fuel.

Because many diesel engines lack emission controls and can remain in use for 30 years or longer, they will remain a major contributor to air pollution for years to come. The regulation adopted will dramatically reduce emissions by installation of diesel soot filters and encouraging the replacement of older, dirtier engines with newer emission controlled models. By 2020, diesel particulate matter will be reduced by 74 percent and smog forming oxides of nitrogen by 32 percent, compared to what emissions would be without the regulation.

The new rule also includes a provision allowing areas that are currently unable to achieve clean air standards set by the EPA for particulate matter to opt in to stricter regional requirements if incentive funds are made available. The air districts that could take advantage of this provision are the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District; both are considered "non-attainment areas" for particulate matter. Depending on the amount of incentive money made available, these provisions could as much as a double the NOx emissions benefits in these districts, setting them on a faster track to meeting their clean air goals.

The requirements and deadlines vary depending on fleet size. For small fleets, which include small businesses or municipalities with a combined horsepower of 2500 or less, implementation does not begin until 2015. Medium fleets, with 2501 to 5000 horsepower, have until 2013, while large fleets, with over 5000 horsepower, must begin complying in 2010. Affected vehicles include bulldozers, loaders, backhoes, and forklifts, as well as many other self-propelled off-road diesel vehicles.

ARB performed a comprehensive economic analysis of the rule's impact on business, concluding that the regulation will cost industry up to $3.5 billion over its lifetime. Staff reviewed individual companies' financial records and conducted numerous workshops to discuss the cost of the regulation as well as impacts on individual businesses. ARB also gave special consideration to small businesses (e.g., small fleets have until 2015 to begin compliance, while large fleets must begin in 2010) to ensure that the regulation would not cause undue economic hardship.

The Board's action also sets the stage for efforts next year to develop similar requirements for the hundreds of thousands of on-road trucks that travel on California's roads every day.

According to ARB estimates, over its course, this rule will prevent at least 4,000 premature deaths statewide and avoid $18 - $26 billion in premature death and health costs.

Oeser Company Fined for Failure to Observe RCRA Consent Order


The Oeser Company, of Bellingham, Wash., has reached a settlement with EPA over alleged violations of the financial assurance requirements of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (). As part of the settlement the company has agreed to fully comply with an existing consent order and pay a $7,880 penalty.

The Oeser Company is a wood-treating company that generates hazardous wastes and has been operating under a 2005 consent order with EPA. Under the consent order, the company agreed to establish and maintain financial assurance for the future closure of its drip pads. EPA alleged the company had failed to comply with all of its obligations under the consent order.

According to Mike Bussell, director of EPA’s regional Compliance and Enforcement office in Seattle, ensuring that facilities meet their financial assurance obligations is a national priority for EPA.

“Without adequate financial assurance in place, taxpayers can and will foot the bill for costly closure cleanups,” said Bussell. “RCRA requires adequate financial assurance to act as a ‘backstop’ for cleanup cost coverage. To operate businesses like the Oeser Company lawfully and responsibly, owners need to have the financial tools in place for a safe and protective final plant closure.”

RCRA regulates the generation, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous wastes and established a national framework for the management of non-hazardous waste.

EPA Fines Companies for Pesticide Violations


Recent cases involving three Pennsylvania businesses and one in Virginia demonstrate the EPA’s intent to enforce federal pesticide laws to protect consumers and the environment.

EPA’s mid-Atlantic region filed a complaint against Ernest Clamar for allegedly selling or distributing unregistered pesticides. Clamar was doing business as Interstate Products, Inc. and Ecco Industries, Inc. Both companies are wholesalers of soaps and detergents based in Courtdale, Pa.

EPA’s mid-Atlantic regional office settled two other pesticide cases with two Pennsylvania companies for alleged distribution of unregistered or misbranded pesticides. Misco Products Corporation of Reading, Pa., manufactures cleaning and floor care products, and Advanced Skin Technologies in Bernville, Pa., manufactures chemical products for the dairy industry. In settling with EPA, the companies have certified that they are now in compliance with federal pesticide requirements. Misco’s settlement included a $55,450 fine.

In Virginia, Chemcore Inc., an industrial cleaning and process chemicals company in Covington, agreed to settle its case with EPA for an alleged pesticide reporting violation. Chemcore, doing business as ChemStation, paid a $3,900 penalty and has certified that they are in compliance with pesticide regulations.

“Selling and distributing unregistered or misbranded pesticides are violations that can result in harm to public health and the environment,” said Donald S. Welsh, EPA’s mid-Atlantic regional administrator. “These kinds of cases don’t get much attention but they’re important because they serve as a deterrent to businesses that are lax in complying with the pesticide laws.”

Dairy Fined $6,178 for Nitric Acid Reporting Violation



"Facilities that use, store, and release toxic chemicals have a responsibility to the neighboring community to report their chemical releases and transfers," said Nathan Lau, associate director, of the EPA's Communities and Ecosystems Division for the Pacific Southwest region. "This penalty should remind others that we are maintaining a close watch over chemical reporting practices and are serious about enforcing community right-to-know laws."

During a routine EPA inspection held Aug. 24, 2006, the agency discovered that Hollandia Dairy Inc. failed to report use of nitric acid. The dairy was notified and has since submitted all required toxic chemical reports to the EPA. Nitric acid is a powerful irritant which can cause severe asthma attacks and eye damage.

Each year facilities submit reports to the EPA regarding toxic chemical releases from the previous year. The EPA compiles this information into a national Toxics Release Inventory or TRI database so that the public can access the data.

This TRI database estimates the amounts of each toxic chemical released to the environment, treated or recycled on-site, or transferred off-site for waste management and also provides a trend analysis of toxic chemical releases.

EPA Fines Garden Store for Selling Cancelled Pesticide


EPA fined an Ely, Nev., garden store $14,000 for allegedly offering for sale cancelled insecticides, a violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.

Perfect Expressions, a garden center owned by Reed Inc., was offering for sale Green Light Dursban Granules, Ortho Dursban Lawn Insect Spray, and Ortho Dursban. The Nevada Department of Agriculture discovered the violations during an inspection in 2006.

“When EPA cancelled the registration of these pesticides due to concerns about children's exposure, the cancellation notice stated when retail sales had to stop,” said Katherine Taylor, associate director of the Community and Ecosystems Division for the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “Companies are required to keep themselves informed about pesticide cancellations and promptly remove cancelled pesticides from their shelves.”

Retail sales of most residential-use chlorpyrifos pesticides were prohibited Dec. 31, 2001. Consumers may still legally use remaining stocks of chlorpyrifos products, provided that they follow all label directions and precautions. Use of these products according to label directions does not pose an immediate hazard. Consumers who choose to use these products or any pesticide should always read and follow label precautions and directions. Consumers may contact their local solid waste agency for disposal information.

There are a number of free on-line databases where registration status of pesticides can be checked. 

Sherwood/Harsco Issues Oxygen Valve Safety Notice


In 2006, a design modification was made to the inlet connection on the 3 / 4"-16 UNF Straight Thread valves with CGA 540, 580, 326, and BS 3 outlet connections. Sherwood was recently informed that certain torques applied during installation may cause a fracture at the 3/4"-16 UNF valve inlet thread.

Strictly as a precautionary measure, Sherwood recommends that valves with the part numbers below marked with date codes of 05/06 (May 2006) through 06/07 (June 2007) be safely removed from service and returned for replacement.

GV(A)58051 -XX(LX)-75

Only these part numbers and date codes are to be returned for replacement. Request for returns must be submitted within 90 days of this July 19, 2007, notice. For return authorization and replacement information please contact the Sherwood customer service department at 888-508-2583 or fax 800-416-0678.

Union Pacific Railroad Pays $120,000 to Settle Diesel Truck Emission Inspection Violations


Union Pacific Railroad, headquartered in Omaha, Neb., recently paid $120,000 for violations of regulations requiring companies to inspect and verify that their diesel trucks in California meet state exhaust limits.

An investigation by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) revealed that between 2004 and 2005, UP failed to properly inspect and document its diesel trucks' emissions throughout California. California's Periodic Smoke Inspection program requires owners of diesel fleets with two or more heavy duty diesel engines to inspect and maintain them, and keep records. This expedites inspections, assures compliance, and guards the state's progress toward federally mandated clean air standards.

"Compliance with our regulations is the crux to clean healthful air for all Californians," said ARB's acting-executive officer, Tom Cackette. "We need companies to recognize that Californians demand clean air and that enforcement actions are an extension of their desire to live in a healthy and respected environment."

Most of the money from the settlement was paid into the California Air Pollution Control Fund, which mitigates pollution through education, the advancement and use of cleaner technology, and supports pollution research and related programs. The California Legislature controls the fund through allocations in the annual Budget Act.

$30,000 of the settlement is funding an ARB program operated by select community colleges that provides industry with technical and compliance training. Fleet maintenance personnel from the companies found in violation must go through this training program as a condition of settlement.

Emissions of particulate matter from diesel engines are 70% of the air borne carcinogens that Californians are exposed to on a daily basis. ARB has committed to reducing these emissions by 85% by 2020.

State Fines Company for Dumping Concrete over River Bank


The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) is fining Andrew Noel Construction $23,470 for water quality violations, including dumping concrete over the bank of the Cowlitz River. The company operates a sand and gravel mine and concrete batching plant next to the Cowlitz River, between Randle and Morton in Lewis County. Ecology visited the site in April and November 2006 to discuss onsite issues that needed correction. A formal inspection occurred in April 2007.

According to the inspector's report, the construction company improperly managed the water used to clean out concrete trucks, allowing the untreated waste to overflow on the ground. The inspector also found evidence that the company drove its concrete trucks to a high embankment and dumped concrete over the bank. Concrete is alkaline by nature. When dumped into a body of water, it can create caustic conditions that are harmful to fish and aquatic life.

"One of Ecology's main duties is to protect Washington's ground water and surface water from polluting industries. Noel Construction continued to violate its permit even after problems had been identified. This disregard threatens some of the state's most valuable resources," explained Ecology's water quality manager for the Southwest Region, Steve Eberl.

The company's sand and gravel permit requires it to build settling ponds that can adequately hold and treat any process water, such as that used to clean out concrete trucks. The company's permit does not authorize any water discharge – even after treatment – to the river. Other permit violations the inspector found included a lack of required water quality monitoring and very few best management practices in place to prevent stormwater pollution.

Andrew Noel Construction has 30 days to file an application for relief with Ecology, appeal to the state Pollution Control Hearings Board or pay the fine. 

Property Manager Fined $61,125 for Asbestos Violations during Redevelopment of Dorchester Building


The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) issued a unilateral $61,125 penalty to 27-29 Mt. Vernon Street, LLC – James E. Paskell as principal manager – due to numerous asbestos violations at the residential property located in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood.

During an inspection of the property on April 19, 2006, MassDEP found violations including failure to submit prior notification of the removal work, as well as dried asbestos debris on the floor. Subsequently, MassDEP learned that in October 2005 other violations occurred including the illegal removal of 150 bags of asbestos-containing shingles at the same property. Notification also was not submitted to MassDEP for that work.

Paskell, as manager, initially attended an enforcement discussion with MassDEP on March 6, 2007, and agreed on the terms to resolve the violations. However, on April 3, 2007, Paskell returned the consent order having altered the document without prior discussion or knowledge of MassDEP. Paskell then failed to respond in any manner to the MassDEP regarding the unauthorized changes or further discussion, prompting MassDEP to issue the unilateral penalty for $61,125. That action has not been appealed and remains in effect.

"Any renovation involving asbestos, particularly those in residential areas, has got to put the protection of the public at the forefront," said Richard Chalpin, director of MassDEP's Northeast Regional Office in Wilmington. "Asbestos fibers are a known carcinogenic and no responsible developer would cut corners and put innocent people in harm's way by conducting that work without the proper notification, removal and providing the means of legal disposal."

Ohio EPA Reaches Settlement with Toxco over Waste Violations


Ohio EPA has reached a settlement with Toxco, Inc. for hazardous waste violations at the company's 265 Quarry Road site in Lancaster. Toxco stores and recycles numerous types of batteries, including car batteries. The settlement includes a $42,575 civil penalty.

Toxco applied for an Ohio EPA hazardous waste permit in October 2002. While the company's application was under review, Ohio EPA issued an exemption order in December 2003, which allowed the facility to operate, provided it complied with the terms of the order. Ohio EPA issued a hazardous waste storage permit to Toxco in December 2005, which terminated the exemption order.

Ohio EPA inspections of and correspondence with Toxco from January 2004 through December 2006 revealed numerous violations of the exemption order and the storage permit, which included:

  • failing to demonstrate financial assurance and liability coverage had been obtained prior to storing of hazardous waste;
  • failing to use approved inspection checklists and proper processing forms for inbound and outbound shipments of hazardous waste;
  • failing to document inspections of emergency equipment and the hazardous waste storage area;
  • failing to properly label hazardous waste storage and accumulation containers and track hazardous waste received at facility;
  • stacking pallets of hazardous waste higher than permitted;
  • failing to submit a new permit application when applying for a modification to December 2005 permit; and
  • failing to provide hazardous waste training to employees specific to contingency plan.


No release of hazardous waste was observed during the inspections and Toxco is now in compliance with applicable hazardous waste storage regulations.

New Legislation in US Senate Promises Clean Water Protections


Sen. Russell Feingold (D-WI) introduced legislation in the Senate that reiterates Congress' intent to protect all waters of the United States from pollution and destruction. Recent Supreme Court decisions limiting the scope of the Clean Water Act, along with a comprehensive attack from industry and developers to challenge clean water protections, have muddied this important environmental law and could leave as much as 60% of the nation's streams and rivers, and tens of millions of acres of wetlands, without federal protections.

The Senate Clean Water Restoration Act, co-sponsored by 19 Senators, like companion legislation currently being reviewed in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, simply affirms that Congress intended to protect all waters of the United States when it passed the Clean Water Act more than 30 years ago.

Owner of Polluting Meat Plant in Newark Indicted on Criminal Charges


New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram and Criminal Justice Director Gregory A. 

According to Paw, Seymour Berkowitz, 72, of Allendale, and Berkowitz Fat Company Inc, doing business as American Rendering Corporation and Harry Berkowitz Industries Inc., were indicted last week by a state grand jury in a four-count indictment charging them with one count of violation of the state Water Pollution Control Act and three counts of violation of the state Air Pollution Control Act, all third degree crimes. The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Third-degree violations of the Water Pollution Control Act carry a sentence of up to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $75,000, while third-degree violations of the Air Pollution Control Act carry a sentence of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000, which can be tripled for the corporate defendants. The charges stem from an investigation by the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Division of Criminal Justice–Major Crimes/Environmental section.

“We are criminally prosecuting these defendants because they have defied state environmental laws and shown an utter and complete disregard for the health and well-being of their neighbors in the Ironbound section of Newark,” said Attorney General Milgram. “By working with the DEP to shut down this filthy plant and hold its owner accountable both civilly and criminally, we are sending a strong message that we will not tolerate environmental scofflaws.”

“Even our most seasoned environmental professionals regard the Berkowitz plant as the most vile operation they have ever observed,” DEP Commissioner Lisa Jackson said. “From the mountains of rotting meat to the legions of rats and other vermin, this site was awash in putridness. Far and away, it represented one of the most difficult cleanup tasks the DEP has faced in recent memory.”

On June 8, the attorney general, acting on behalf of the DEP, obtained a court order shutting down the plant for failing to make court-ordered facility improvements and operational changes required to bring the plant into compliance with state environmental laws. The state originally filed suit in May and obtained an order from Superior Court Judge Kenneth S. Levy requiring the rendering facility and its owner to take immediate action to correct certain violations. However, subsequent DEP inspections found almost total non-compliance with the court’s order. Levy’s June 8 order required Berkowitz and his companies to stop accepting new meat waste and halt all meat rendering operations until they demonstrate compliance.

DEP staff and contract workers have worked more than 30 days to clean up the property, removing 120 truckloads of decaying meat and contaminated soils and liquids. The amount of protective clothing and related equipment that workers used during the cleanup totaled an additional 10 truckloads. The DEP is seeking to recover cleanup costs and more than $2 million in civil penalties from the defendants.

The indictment charges Berkowitz and his companies with violating the Water Pollution Control Act by purposely, knowingly, or recklessly discharging untreated wastewater – highly contaminated with fat, oil and grease – directly into the local sewer system in violation of their permit from the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners. Wastewater from the plant was not pre-treated as required under the permit and was channeled to bypass the required monitoring point.

The indictment further charges the defendants with three counts of violating the Air Pollution Control Act by purposely or knowingly:

  1. Operating the plant from Oct. 16, 2006, through May 1, 2007, while one of the plant’s required air pollution control units or “scrubbers” was not working as a result of damage sustained in a fire.
  2. Emitting foul odors into the outdoor air over a two-year period that interfered with the quality of life in the surrounding neighborhoods and were strong enough to sicken county and DEP inspectors who visited the site.
  3. Refusing to admit DEP inspectors to the plant on Jan. 29, 2007.

Meat rendering plants typically cook animal materials for use in making tallow, grease, protein meal and/or bone meal. Located on Bay Avenue in the Ironbound section of Newark, the plant processed more than a million pounds of meat waste weekly. The state’s lawsuit charged the facility with being a persistent polluter by rendering meat in cookers with air pollution control equipment that was disconnected or inoperable, and by using grease rather than fuel oil in the facility’s boiler. DEP has conducted numerous plant inspections since 2005, resulting in more than $2 million in pollution-related civil penalties. In addition, pervasive odors from the plant and evidence of rodents have generated many complaints from neighboring residents and business owners. Meat waste was typically brought into the plant by trucks and dumped onto the ground. The meat waste was stored outside and exposed to rain, heat, and vermin.

Environmental Agency, Police Seek Stolen Nuclear Gauge


The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) has issued a public alert to report that a moisture density gauge containing nuclear material was stolen from a contractor’s temporary worksite located at 11570 Berry Road in Waldorf, Md.

A Troxler Model 3430 surface moisture density gauge, serial number 22355, was reported stolen to MDE on July 23 by Greenhorne & Omara, Inc., located in Laurel, Md.

The missing device contains small amounts of radioactive material and is used to measure moisture and compaction in soils, concrete, asphalt and other aggregates. The yellow device is reported to be in the locked position. Its yellow transport case is also reported to be locked. The device is not a hazard to the public as long as the radioactive material remains locked in the device.

The gauge is yellow in color and approximately 3’x 2’ x 2’. The radioactive material it contains is Cesium-137 on an extendable rod and Americium-241 encased inside the device. A padlock is normally used to secure the Cesium-137 source in its shielded position when not in use.

Anyone finding this device should report it immediately to MDE’s Radiological Health Program at (866) MDE-GOTO [(866) 633-4686], the Charles County Sheriff’s Department at (301) 932-2222 or Greenhorn & Omara, Inc. at (301) 982-2800.

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty Launches Initiative on Clean Energy


Outgoing National Governors Association (NGA) Chair Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano officially passed the reins of leadership to new NGA Chair Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty at the closing plenary session of this year's NGA Annual Meeting.

"It's a pleasure to hand over the leadership reins of NGA to my good friend and colleague Governor Pawlenty," said Napolitano. "He has been instrumental in our work with Innovation America. I benefited from his expertise during the past year and I look forward to supporting his efforts as chair." 

"America is at a tipping point," remarked Pawlenty. "Our country is too dependent on imported sources of energy, and greenhouse gas emissions continue to grow too quickly. Governors have a tremendous opportunity to lead the country toward a cleaner, more independent, more secure energy future."

To address the myriad energy challenges the United States faces, Securing a Clean Energy Future will examine ways governors and states can:

  • Increase production of cleaner domestic fuels
  • Promote advanced electricity generation
  • Improve energy efficiency and conservation
  • Accelerate research and development of clean energy technologies


Gov. Pawlenty takes over as NGA begins to celebrate 100 years since the first meeting of governors at the White House in 1908.  The centennial Web site is designed to showcase the history of NGA and the role of governors over the last century.

Before the gavel was passed, governors heard from the Honorable Sandra Day O'Connor, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice, and the Honorable Tom Phillips, former chief justice, Texas Supreme Court, about the effect of judicial independence on states.

Newly minted NGA Vice Chair Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell spoke about the upcoming NGA centennial celebration and invited meeting attendees to join him in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from July 11-14 for the 100th meeting of the association. "I can think of no better place to celebrate the NGA centennial meeting than in the birthplace of our great nation," said Rendell. "Philadelphia and the commonwealth of Pennsylvania look forward to hosting the 100th gathering of the nation's governors, and I'd like to thank my colleague Gov. Granholm, Traverse City, and the state of Michigan for their tremendous job over the past few days."

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Trivia Question of the Week

When shipping what class of hazardous materials, you must determine the Transport Index?

a. Organic peroxide
b. Explosive
c. Toxic inhalation hazard
d. Radioactive