AET Environmental

Open the checkbook! The extra cost of enviro violations

Facilities that run afoul of clean air, water and waste regs always count on having to pay fines. 

More and more, noncompliant businesses are also writing out sizable checks to emergency responders, training programs and schools.

That’s especially the case if violations could lead to people getting sick or hurt, and habitats being polluted – such as sloppy hazardous waste handling, chemical releases, lack of reporting, etc.

Staff and neighbors put at risk

Inspectors paid antenna and battery manufacturer Vorbeck Materials in Jessup, MD a visit. Suffice to say, Vorbeck’s hazwaste program didn’t pass muster.

The manufacturer wasn’t making waste determinations, the No. 1 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) violation every year.

Vorbeck didn’t have a contingency plan and also wasn’t:

• labeling hazwaste containers

• keeping drums closed except when adding or removing wastes such as spent solvents and debris

• manifesting wastes it shipped out, or

• training staffers on RCRA.

EPA made sure the money Vorbeck shelled out went to good use. The agency fined Vorbeck $28,200 and also negotiated a $46,000 donation to the county fire department.

Other companies cited recently for enviro issues found themselves in the same boat:

• Penobscot McCrum, a Belfast, ME potato processing plant, didn’t maintain its ammonia refrigeration system. It paid $60K in Risk Management Program fines and $83K for firefighters’ emergency response equipment.

• Garelick Farms in Lynn, MA didn’t report ammonia inventories and make sure staffers were protected. Garelick paid for $195K worth of response equipment, pumps and smoke detectors for the town fire department, plus $21K to remove toxic and flammable materials from local schools.

• Whole Foods grocery stores in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and New Mexico mismanaged universal waste (mercury-containing fluorescent lights). The firm signed off on funding a $500K hazardous and universal waste management program for small Texas retailers.


Contact AET Environmental for more information.

14 Lakeside Lane
Denver, CO  8021

Ph: (303) 333-8521