The Environmental Protection Agency announced that it reached a settlement with an international recycling and hazardous waste management company headquartered in the Chicago metropolitan area on December 12.
The agreement resolves alleged violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Clean Air Act which occurred three years ago at two of the company's hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facilities in Connecticut.
As a result of the settlement, the company is required to maintain full compliance with their RCRA permits and applicable hazardous waste laws, including RCRA air pollution control regulations. It will also need to install new air emission control systems in its Bridgeport and Meriden, Connecticut facilities. The EPA estimates that the installations will cost the company $920,000.
The settlement also forces the business to pay a $525,000 civil penalty.
"Today's proposed settlement means cleaner air for communities in Meriden and Bridgeport as a result of pollution control equipment that will be installed at [the company's] facilities in those places," EPA New England Regional Administrator Alexandra Dunn said in a statement. "Hazardous air pollution poses serious public health impacts, so that's why EPA is committed to improving compliance with the laws that regulate them."
The EPA credits the waste management company for already correcting the alleged RCRA violations that the agency and the State of Connecticut uncovered in 2015 during their inspections of the two facilities. In order to be CAA compliant, the company has also obtained new air permits at both facilities.
The company will need to spend $920,000 to make its two Connecticut facilities compliant, along with $525,000 in fines.
To meet the requirements of the settlement, the company will still need to install equipment to control the emissions of certain types of hazardous waste air pollutants and volatile organic compounds at the two facilities. The current air controls at both facilities, which absorb hazardous waste emissions through the use of carbon, will also need to be fully and permanently replaced with new equipment that will burn up the emissions, and new emissions leak detection equipment must be purchased for both locations.
The violations were uncovered three years ago when the EPA conducted an RCRA inspection the at the Meriden facility, as well as a CAA inspection at the Meriden and Bridgeport facilities. The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection conducted an RCRA inspection of the Bridgeport facility that same year, discovering potential violations and issuing a state RCRA notice of violations, and leading the EPA to issue an RCRA notice of potential violation to the Meriden facility and CAA notices of violation to both facilities.
The EPA also touted this proposed settlement as part of the agency's National Compliance Initiative for addressing hazardous air pollutants at hazardous waste facilities, which seeks to monitor and control air emissions from hazardous waste storage tanks, pipes, valves and other equipment. Beryllium emissions are known to have major environmental consequences and pose health risks, including increased risk of cancer and birth defects.