Good maintenance and housekeeping can go a long way toward preventing a hazardous waste violation.
For example: The ArcelorMittal (AM) tin electroplating operation in Weirton, WV, ran into trouble because it didn’t contain three kinds of toxic hazwaste – cyanide, lead and chromium (a known carcinogen).
An EPA inspection uncovered traces of all three metals on plating equipment, plant floors and outside the building’s dock.
Inspectors cited AM under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) for failing to:
• ship a variety of hazwastes off-site within 90 days
• make thorough hazwaste determinations, and
• minimize the release of hazwaste.
Inspection didn’t end there
The EPA inspectors checked the plant with a fine-tooth comb looking for additional RCRA gaffes to add to the ticket.
Sure enough, they found it. The facility also wasn’t labeling its spent batteries as hazwaste, or marking
the date storage began.
Total penalty: $93,288.
Luckily none of the toxics were released into the environment via groundwater or the soil.