Safety Kleen Fined for Hazardous Waste Violations

July 31, 2006


The California Department of Toxic Substances Control announced a $16,269 settlement with Safety Kleen Systems, Inc., to resolve hazardous waste violations revealed at their facility in Orange County. Safety Kleen is a permitted hazardous waste treatment and storage facility.

The settlement stems from violations revealed during a DTSC inspection of the facility on October 11, 2005. DTSC inspectors cited the facility for:


  • Failure to comply with the hazardous waste facility permit conditions regarding the operation of four above ground barrel washers used for the treatment of solvents
  • Failure to sign and date each copy of the California manifest (used to track generation, transportation and disposal of hazardous waste) to certify that the hazardous waste covered by the manifest was consistent with waste received at the facility
  • Failure to record the location and date of storage / handling of each hazardous waste shipment received at the facility


Under the terms of the consent order, signed on June 28, the company agreed to pay of fine of $16,269, of which $14,349 is an administrative penalty, $1,920 is reimbursement of costs incurred by DTSC.


Summary of Hazardous Waste Manifest Changes

As we’ve discussed in several past issues of the Environmental Tip of the Week, EPA’s new Hazardous Waste Manifest must be used for shipments of hazardous waste beginning September 5. The following is a list of some comparisons and significant changes:



General Changes

A Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest is required for most shipments of federally regulated RCRA waste. Change: Only one version can be used anywhere in the US.

States are banned from creating own versions. Some new fields are added including: generator site address, import/export, discrepancy categories, rejected loads, and alternate facility. The new form is printed on white paper. Colors previously used on state forms are banned. States were allowed to print their own instructions on manifests including state waste codes, mailing addresses for manifests, and other state information. Change: States may not include instructions on the national manifest and must develop other ways to provide that information.

Shipments rejected by a receiving facility or containers with residues must be properly managed. Change: New manifest has space for load rejection information (cause, destination, receipt date, alternate facility, and reference to other manifest if used.) Time periods are set for retention time by TSDF (60 days) and generators (same as accumulation time.)

States may require submission of manifests. Change: States where the generator is located may also require submission of manifests by the treatment storage or disposal facility (TSDF) in a different receiving state.

Some states collected handling codes on manifests. Change: EPA requires use of the Biennial Report Hazardous Waste Management Report Method Codes by all TSDFs on all manifests.

Manifests were printed by states and many private printers. Change: 


Generators are responsible for accurately completing the manifest and signing the waste minimization certification. Change: The certification is moved to the regulations. “Offerors” who prepare waste for shipment per DOT may sign manifests for the generator (such as transporters, contractors, or TSDFs rejecting waste.)

Waste could be rejected back to the generator. Change: Generators receiving rejected waste or containers with residue are required to sign the manifest and note discrepancies. There is a time limit for holding the waste before shipping it off-site. EPA allows the accumulation time that applies to the generator (90/180/270 days).

Many states incorporated a copy page for generators to submit to the state. Change: EPA dropped that page, so generators in states that require submission of a manifest must submit a legible photocopy.


Import/Export information was required on the manifest. Change: A section is added for this information and for the transporter to sign off on exports.


TSDFs identified discrepancies on manifests. Change: The manifest form provides five types of check boxes for discrepancies in addition to a narrative field.

Rejected loads could be sent to the generator or an alternate facility. Change: Procedures require use of a new manifest in many cases, limit holding time of rejected waste, and require TSDFs to link old and new manifests by manifest numbers.

Some containers and bulk containers held a residue after removing waste. Change: TSDFs are obligated to determine if a container holds a residue that exceeds the definition of an empty container.

TSDFs must manifest non-empty containers to the generator or an alternate facility and link the manifests by manifest numbers.

TSDFs submit manifests to their state, if so required. Change: Federal regulations now require TSDFs to submit manifests to their state and the generator’s state as well, if required by that state.




EPA Modifies Organic Liquids Distribution NESHAP

After promulgation of the final OLD NESHAP, the agency received petitions for administrative reconsideration of the promulgated rule, and several petitions for judicial review of the final rule were filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

EPA is promulgating those amendments to address these concerns, adding additional vapor balancing options, and making technical corrections to the final rule.


EPA Publishes General Conformity Regulations for PM 2.5 at Federal Activities



EPA Cites Louisiana Pacific for Exceeding Air Permit Limits

EPA Region 5 cited Louisiana Pacific Corp. for alleged Clean Air Act violations at the company's oriented strandboard manufacturing plant in Newberry, Mich. Oriented strandboard is a wood composite used in house construction.

EPA alleges that Louisiana Pacific exceeded emission limits in its state operating permit for particulates (smoke, ash, dust) from its thermal oil heaters and failed to report the problem in its semiannual report to the state.

"EPA's mission is to protect public health and the environment," said acting regional administrator Bharat Mathur. "We will take whatever steps are needed to ensure compliance with the Clean Air Act."

These are preliminary findings of violations. To resolve them, EPA may issue a compliance order, assess an administrative penalty or bring suit against the company. Louisiana Pacific has 30 days from receipt of the notice to meet with EPA to discuss resolving the allegations.

Inhaling high concentrations of particulates can affect children, the elderly and people with heart and lung conditions.


EPA cites Holcim for Opacity Violations

EPA Region 5 has cited Holcim (US) Inc. for alleged Clean Air Act violations at the company's portland cement plant in Dundee, Mich.

EPA alleges that Holcim exceeded limits on opacity, or the amount of light obscured by particulates (smoke, dust, ash), in its state operating permit, its permit to install and in state regulations. In addition, the company exceeded temperature limits at its baghouses, which are used as air pollution control devices for the kilns at the facility.


$119,000 Penalty for Storing Hazardous Waste without a Permit

EPA Region 5 has filed an administrative complaint and compliance order against Redeen Engraving Co., Elk Grove Village, Ill., for alleged violations of federal hazardous waste regulations. A $119,000 penalty was proposed.


Redeen, which manufactures brass and foil dies and has electroplating operations, was cited for violating the RCRA requirements for managing hazardous waste. EPA alleges that the company stored hazardous waste without a permit, did not qualify for an exemption to the permitting requirement, and failed to document whether or not its waste was hazardous.

EPA Cites Landlord for Lead-Based Paint Violations; $45,210 Penalty Proposed

EPA Region 5 has filed an 18-count complaint against Karen Krach of Fishers, Ind., for allegedly failing to warn tenants or buyers of six homes or apartment buildings that their homes may contain lead-based paint hazards. A $45,210 penalty has been proposed.

Krach rents, owns and has sold residential buildings in Indianapolis at 132 N. Arsenal, 3741 N. Central Avenue, 609 N. Gladstone, 4004 N. Graceland, 4044 N. Guilford, 3907 Rookwood and possibly other locations.

"Childhood lead poisoning is entirely preventable," said Bharat Mathur, EPA Region 5 acting administrator. "The action we have taken is one step in our effort to protect children from exposure to lead-based paint in older homes. This is a high priority for EPA."

The federal Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Rule requires that landlords and sellers of housing constructed prior to 1978 provide tenants and buyers with general and property-specific lead-hazard information, and include a lease or contract clause to confirm that prospective tenants or buyers have received the lead warnings prior to signing the contract to lease or purchase.

Lead exposure can cause reduced IQ, learning disabilities, developmental delays, reduced height, poor hearing and a host of other health problems in young children.

Peeling lead paint is the most common source of lead exposure to children in the United States. About 75 percent of the nation's housing built before 1978 contains lead-based paint. When properly managed, lead-based paint poses little risk. If paint is not maintained, however, even low levels of lead exposure can threaten occupants' health, especially children and pregnant women. 



EPA Fines Plating Firm for $43,000 for Groundwater Contamination

EPA is proposing a $43,000 settlement with Excello Plating, Inc. and the firm’s president, Glen Harleman, for investigation costs surrounding alleged hazardous substance releases from the Los Angeles facility.

Beginning in 2002 the EPA assisted the Regional Water Quality Control Board’s investigation of chromium and other hazardous substance releases from the Excello Plating facility following an inspection by the board and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control. Excello Plating, Inc. uses cadmium, chromium, nickel, zinc, tin and copper in the metals plating process.

“Because hazardous materials such as sodium cyanide flakes, hydrochloric acid, and cadmium were found at the Excello Plating, Inc. site, removing them from the area became an immediate concern,” said Keith Takata, the EPA’s Superfund Division Director for the Pacific Southwest region. “Together with our sister agencies, we will see that further cleanup of the facility is promptly addressed.”

During an August 2002 inspection, the board, DTSC and the Los Angeles County Fire Department found five 100-pound containers labeled as chromic acid flakes, a 55-gallon drum of methyl ethyl ketone and hazardous waste debris improperly stored in containers at the facility.

In September 2004, the Environmental Justice and Protection Unit of the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office filed a criminal complaint relating to the hexavalent chromium contamination of the groundwater beneath the facility. As part of a pending $150,000 settlement, Excello Plating, Inc. agreed to cease all operations soon after the criminal complaint was filed, in December 2004.

In August of 2005, another joint inspection was made at the Excello Plating, Inc. site; by then Excello had ceased operations and the site was abandoned. The Regional Water Quality Control Board has issued a cleanup and abatement order to Excello Plating, Inc. and Harleman, as well as the Spirito Family Trust, which owns the property. As a result, above-ground hazardous materials have been contained, removed from the site and properly disposed. Assessment and cleanup of the facility are continuing under the Regional Water Quality Control Board cleanup and abatement order.

Under the proposed settlement, Excello Plating and Harleman are paying $43,000 to the EPA to reimburse the agency for costs related to assisting the Water Board with the investigation of Excello Plating, Inc. facility. The proposed settlement is open for public comment until August 24th.

Located at 4057 Goodwin Avenue, Excello Plating, Inc. is near one of the extraction wells that captures contaminated groundwater from the San Fernando-Glendale Superfund site and delivers it to the Glendale Treatment System. The well has been monitored for elevated levels of contaminants. Excello Plating is one of the named responsible parties in the San Fernando-Glendale Superfund site.


EPA Issues Guidance for Total Coliform Rule

 It is well known that small public non-community water systems labor under many constraints not faced by larger systems. Financing limits, shortages of skilled personnel and physical isolation are among the most critical problems facing small utilities. These systems, in turn, are supported by outside water professionals: engineers, scientists, regulators, technical assistance providers and others. Each entity needs continued education and training that target its particular role in the reliable provision of safe drinking water at a reasonable cost and minimal burden. EPA has developed this up-to-date reference handbook with the intent of enhancing system capacity for prolonged infrastructure sustainability.



Graymont Fined $7,500 for Air Quality Violations at Centre County Limestone Plants

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has fined Graymont (PA) Inc. of Pleasant Gap, Centre County, $7,500 for air quality violations at limestone plants it owns in Spring and Benner townships.

“Graymont needed to improve its record keeping procedures and its ability to control fugitive dust emissions,” DEP Northcentral Regional Director Robert Yowell said. “The company has done that, and all violations have been corrected.”

DEP inspections conducted last year in July and December, as well as in January 2006, found multiple violations of the Pennsylvania Air Pollution Control Act and air quality regulations at both Graymont plants.

At the Con-Lime plant in Benner Township, violations included improper record keeping, fugitive dust emissions and missing air pollution monitoring equipment.

The Pleasant Gap plant violations included multiple fugitive dust emissions, improper record keeping, broken equipment and two fuel sulfur content exceedances reported to DEP in April and May of this year.

The $7,500 fine was paid to the Clean Air Fund, which finances air quality improvement projects throughout the commonwealth.



Casella Waste Management Fined $400,000 for Transfer Station Permit Violations

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) fined Casella Waste Management of Pennsylvania $400,000 for repeated violations at its waste transfer station in Delmar Township, Pa.

“This significant penalty reflects both the large number of violations and a pattern of noncompliance by the company that DEP, and Pennsylvania residents, simply cannot tolerate,” DEP Northcentral regional director Robert Yowell said. “Casella must abide by all environmental laws and permit requirements or face the consequences of their violations.”

A DEP investigation that began in 2003 revealed that Casella regularly was exceeding the maximum 75 tons of waste per day that the transfer station was allowed to accept, and had been doing so since 2000. In addition, DEP investigators discovered that Casella did not keep daily operational records properly.

In May 2001, Casella submitted to DEP a major permit modification to increase the transfer station’s daily tonnage to 450 tons per day, and to accept residual waste in roll-offs and transfer that to trailers.

However, a January 2002 inspection by DEP at the transfer station found that Casella already was accepting excessive quantities of waste, accepting unapproved residual waste and operating an unpermitted transfer facility in Potter County. DEP fined the company $34,681, and Casella withdrew the permit application.

DEP revoked Casella’s transfer station permit in March 2005 citing 112 violations at the station since August 1997 and three previous fines. Casella voluntarily closed the transfer station in late April as a business decision.

An administrative order revoking the transfer station permit was superseded by DEP in May 2005 after Casella agreed to upgrade operational procedures, which included moving trucking operations to a separate site, and developing an environmental management plan.



Timken Fined $200,000 for Violating Air Permit

In a settlement with Ohio EPA and Attorney General Jim Petro's office, the Canton-based Timken Company will pay a $200,000 civil penalty for violating Ohio's air pollution permitting and control regulations.

The violations occurred at the company's Harrison steel plant and were documented by the Canton City Health Department – Air Pollution Control Division, Ohio EPA's contractual representative for air pollution issues in Stark County.

Between November 2002 and May 2003, particulate emissions from the plant's two bloom grinders exceeded allowable limits, and pollution control equipment failed to meet minimum efficiency requirements. In addition, Timken modified two electric arc furnaces without first applying for and obtaining Ohio EPA permits and failed to perform particulate emissions stack testing on the furnaces.

The company now has the required permits and has agreed to perform compliance stack testing on the furnaces no later than December 15.

Elevated levels of fine particulate emissions can cause respiratory problems in children, the elderly and individuals with heart or lung disease. Controlling these emissions can reduce irritation to the human respiratory system.

Timken's civil penalty includes $50,000 to support Ohio EPA's air pollution control programs and $40,000 to Ohio EPA's clean diesel school bus program. If Timken submits an approvable plan within 30 days for an environmentally beneficial project, the remaining civil penalty (up to $110,000) may be reduced.



Alpha Oil Company Fined by MassDEP for Hazardous Waste and Groundwater Violations

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has penalized the Alpha Oil Company for groundwater and hazardous waste management violations at its Wilbraham facility.

During a September 2005 inspection of the company's facility, MassDEP discovered that Alpha Oil was washing oil-contaminated rags in a washing machine, and then discharging the wash water into the ground through a dry-well pit, located within the company's vehicle service bay.

Several hazardous waste management violations were also discovered, including failure to properly post appropriate signs, failure to clearly delineate areas where containers of hazardous waste were being stored, failure to notify MassDEP of the facility's hazardous waste and waste oil generation, and transferring the custody or possession of waste oil to an unlicensed transporter.

The company, which cooperated with MassDEP, entered into a consent order in which it has agreed to correct the violations and pay a penalty of $12,000. An additional $9,550 was suspended pending the company's compliance with the terms of the order.

"There was a fundamental failure to comply with regulations designed to protect the health and safety of workers, as well as the community," said Steven Ellis, acting director of MassDEP's Western Regional Office in Springfield.



$10,000 Penalty for Acid Spill that Shut Down Part of Downtown Phoenix

Phoenix Arizona Department of Environmental Quality director Steve Owens announced that L.A. Chemical will pay $10,000 in civil penalties under a consent judgment for a February 2005 spill of nearly 300 gallons of hydrofluorosilicic acid that shut down part of downtown Phoenix for several hours and sent several people to the hospital for treatment.

"Any spill of dangerous acid is extremely serious," Owens said. "This situation was especially unacceptable because part of downtown Phoenix had to be shut down to deal with it and the health and safety of a number of people were put at risk."

The spill occurred when a container of hydrofluorosilicic acid leaked inside a semi-truck operated by L.A. Chemical that was traveling through downtown Phoenix. The acid left a trail on city streets. The truck stopped after the leak was discovered.

Police reports show that an officer on the scene observed that the container was not secured and also had sustained impacts on four sides. Though it was company policy to secure acid containers to the truck, the driver told the officer he had failed to comply.

Hydrofluorosilicic acid is harmful by ingestion, inhalation, or skin contact. Because of the risk from the spill, the Phoenix Fire and Police Departments closed off the affected area and several surrounding blocks in downtown Phoenix for nearly 12 hours until approximately 10 p.m. to reduce the possibility of exposure and allow for clean-up of the acid. Sixteen people plus the driver were treated at local hospitals for possible exposure to the acid.



AMROX to Pay More than $800,000 for Clean-Air Act Violations

EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice have reached an agreement with American Iron Oxide Co., also known as AMROX, on alleged Clean-Air Act violations at three facilities in Portage, Grandview and Burns Harbor, Ind.

AMROX has agreed to pay a $100,000 civil penalty and complete environmental projects costing $34,000. In addition, the company will spend some $721,000 to bring its plants into compliance with the Clean Air Act.

The agreement resolves EPA allegations that AMROX failed to properly control hazardous hydrochloric acid and chlorine emissions from its three facilities. The company also failed to get a state operating permit for its Portage plant.

For its environmental projects, AMROX will complete odor impact and health risk assessments in the Portage area and implement any measures recommended by the studies.

Hydrochloric acid is corrosive to the eyes, skin and mucous membranes. Chronic exposure may cause chronic bronchitis and skin problems. Chlorine is an irritant to the eyes, upper respiratory tract and lungs. At higher levels of exposure, it is extremely irritating to the skin and can cause severe burns.



PPG Fined over $14,000 for Hazardous Waste Violations

Ohio EPA reached a settlement with PPG Industries, Inc., for past hazardous and solid waste violations and issued an administrative consent order on July 21. The violations occurred at its facility located in Barberton, Ohio. According to the settlement, the facility failed to keep a container of universal waste lamps closed, failed to label two containers with the hazardous waste accumulation date, failed to label containers of used oil, failed to provide annual personnel training documentation for one employee, failed to maintain a copy of a hazardous waste manifest at the facility, and stored hazardous waste without a permit.



Hazardous Waste Transporter, ASE Contracting Fined

“Hazardous waste transporters must be in compliance – registered, insured and trained – in order to protect human health and safety,” said Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) director Maureen Gorsen as she announced a settlement with ASE Contracting, Inc., which will correct violations revealed during a November 14, 2005 inspection. “If we are to protect the public from the dangers associated with movement of hazardous waste in California communities, we must ensure that transporters comply with state laws,” Gorsen added.

The inspection revealed that ASE failed to renew its hazardous waste transporter registration for three consecutive years, failed to maintain the financial ability to respond to damages resulting from the operation of the facility during 2003 to 2005, and failed to have appropriate insurance for pollution coverage.

Under the terms of the consent order, ASE must correct all violations listed and pay a penalty of $22,380, of which $21,041 is an administrative penalty and $1,339 is reimbursement of costs incurred by DTSC.



EPA Temporarily Relocates Docket

The EPA Docket Center and its Public Reading Room and consolidated docket facilities in Washington, DC were damaged by flooding that occurred during the week of June 25. The Docket Center, including most services offered by the old Public Reading Room, continues to operate with temporary changes to its operations during the cleanup. On July 24, EPA formally reopened its EPA/DC Public Reading Room in a new location in the EPA Headquarters Library, Infoterra Room (Room Number 3334) in the EPA West Building, located at 1301 Constitution Ave., NW Washington, DC.



Department of Energy Distributes Energy-Saving Tools to Help Manufacturers Save Energy

The CDs bring together – in a single product – a compendium of tip sheets, case studies, technical manuals and software tools to help plants assess energy-saving opportunities.

DOE Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Alexander Karsner said, “These Energy Department CD-Roms, packed with energy-saving information, offer valuable information and energy-saving tools to enable plant managers to reduce their energy costs, and alleviate price pressure nationally.”

DOE is also helping manufacturers by performing no-cost energy assessments of 200 large industrial facilities’ energy systems. As an example of completed assessments’ initial savings, eight plants have reported a total of $1 million in immediate savings in the first 30 days of implementing DOE recommendations. The first 61 energy-saving assessments of industrial facilities have identified, in aggregate, nearly $200 million per year in potential energy cost savings and could reduce natural gas consumption by over 22 trillion Btu per year, equivalent to the natural gas consumed by more than 300,000 homes annually.

Approximately 3,500 plants were contacted based on publicly available data that DOE used to identify the most energy-intensive plants in the United States.

This fall, DOE will be offering another round of Energy Saving Assessments for industrial facilities. Energy Saving Teams will again visit selected large industrial facilities to assess their steam or process heating systems.



Green Roof Guide

A new how-to guide from the Los Angeles Environmental Affairs Department will
help city departments, and private building owners and developers implement green roof projects.  The guide takes planners through the entire process, from picking a suitable location and obtaining a permit, to locating potential funding and maintaining your newly green roof.

According to an estimate from researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, adding green roofs or creating light-reflecting "cool roofs" and road surfaces in 15% of potential sites in the Los Angeles Basin could reduce summer temperatures by 6 degrees and peak demand by 500 megawatts.