Hazardous Waste

Top 10 Hazardous Waste Violations You Should Know

Do you know the Top 10 Hazardous Waste Violations? If not, you should. Businesses can be quick to dismiss the importance of proper waste disposal, but human health and the environment depend on it. Violating RCRA regulations puts you at risk. Knowing what you can do to avoid violations can help keep you and your business safe.

Top 10 Violations:

  1. Improper Labeling:  There are many ways for these violations to occur: improper information, lack of labels on tanks and containers, missing DOT placards, or wrong waste determination.
  2. Improper Determination:  This is the failure to correctly identify hazardous wastes and their properties.
  3. Incorrect Disposal:  The improper disposal, whether purposefully or mistakenly, into drainage systems, dumpsters, general trash, or sewer.
  4. Inadequate Hazardous Waste Manifest:  The failure to track hazardous waste with the appropriate paperwork when shipped off site. Manifest records must be on file and available upon request.
  5. Improper Management of Expired Hazardous Waste:  The improper tracking and disposal of expired chemicals. More common for laboratories, hospitals, and universities.
  6. Lack of Contingency Plan:  Should an unplanned release happen, lack of a Contingency Plan can lead to human health and environmental hazards. Failure to develop and notify the proper authorities is a violation of hazardous waste laws.
  7. Inadequate Employee Training:  Improper or lack of training in hazardous waste management can be extremely dangerous. No knowledge of safety, correct or precautionary procedures can create hazardous conditions for those involved.
  8. Open Containers:  One of the most common violations on this list. Containers of hazardous waste must be closed and latched at all times, except when adding or removing waste.
  9. Improper Management of Mercury:  Improper disposal of mercury waste and mercury-containing products is toxic and expensive to clean up.
  10. Infrequent Inspections:  Weekly inspections of hazardous waste container storage areas are required.

So, how do you avoid hazardous waste violations like the ones listed above? Knowledge is key. Understanding the rules and regulations pertaining to hazardous waste and its management can help you implement the necessary procedures to work safely and maintain compliance.

Remember, we offer the training you need to stay in compliance

and avoid violations and fines.

Check them out now. 

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California company to pay for hazardous waste violations

Hazardous waste violations lead to hefty settlement for Inglewood, California company.

“U.S. EPA Settlement with Inglewood, Calif. facility Requires Safer Management of Hazardous Waste 
Company will purchase equipment for Los Angeles County first responders

LOS ANGELES — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with Rho-Chem, LLC, a solvent recycling and storage facility in Inglewood, Calif., for federal hazardous waste violations. Under the agreement, Rho-Chem will take specific steps to better track and more safely manage hazardous wastes at its Inglewood facility.  Rho-Chem will also purchase more than $353,000 in emergency response equipment for the Los Angeles County Fire Department and pay a $120,527 penalty.

“Improper management of hazardous waste can lead to fires, explosions or unplanned release of hazards into the environment,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “We are pleased that through this settlement, our local first responders are able to receive additional equipment necessary to protect the community.”

Rho-Chem is a fuel blending, solvent recycling and re-packaging distribution and storage facility. EPA’s September 2015 inspection found that Rho-Chem was in violation of federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations. RCRA rules require the safe management of hazardous waste to protect public health and the environment and to prevent costly and extensive cleanups.

The company’s violations included:

  • Failure to make a hazardous waste determination for certain solid waste generated;
  • Failure to maintain and inspect secondary containment areas to prevent leaks and spills;
  • Failure to regularly inspect its hazardous waste operations area to detect discharges;
  • Failure to inspect and properly maintain its closed ventilation monitoring systems;
  • Failure to properly manage ignitable hazardous waste in certain areas of the facility;
  • Failure to maintain adequate operating records; and
  • Failure to obtain the proper permit to store and treat hazardous waste for longer than 90 days.

In addition to the penalty, Rho-Chem is required to complete a supplemental environmental project to purchase and provide at least $352,992 worth of emergency response instruments, and communication and computing equipment to the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Homeland Security/Hazardous Materials Response Section. This equipment will improve the department’s ability to identify and monitor chemicals and other hazardous materials in the field such as toxic and combustible gases, volatile organic compounds, radiation, and meteorological factors.

The settlement also requires Rho-Chem to implement an electronic system that will more accurately document the amounts and types of hazardous waste received, treated, stored, or scheduled for off-site disposal. The company will complete an audit of hazardous air emissions at its facility and provide its audit report to EPA, along with a schedule of corrective actions. As part of its renewal application for its hazardous waste permit, the company will submit a revised Waste Analysis Plan that outlines procedures for accurately determining the appropriate treatment standard for hazardous waste and debris and a revised Closure Plan to close certain units at its facility.”

Do you know the rules and regulations that can avoid violations like these? With our library of hazardous waste training, you can learn crucial topics like the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), hazardous waste determinations, HAZMAT federal laws, proper management, reporting and recordkeeping, preparing and responding to emergencies, and the differences between hazardous materials, hazardous substances, and hazardous waste.

Visit our hazardous waste training now.

Did you know?

Did you know that Envicomply is an approved vendor of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Environmental Protection Division (EPD) for our Underground Storage Tank Class A/B Operator training? We can even be linked to directly from their site!

Successfully completing this training will award a certificate which grants UST Class A/B operator certification in the state of Georgia. Check out full training details now.

UST Certification

Georgia UST

Hurricane Preparedness

Are You Hurricane Ready?

With Hurricane Florence quickly approaching the Southeastern states, it’s important to prepare yourself in the event of a disaster. This means having your emergency kits packed, planning an evacuation route if necessary, and knowing what to do in its aftermath. We’ve assembled a checklist of helpful Hurricane Preparedness Tips for you:

Pack a kit of basic supplies:

Remember to include at least a 3 day water supply per person and for pets, too.

  • Water – one gallon of water per person per day for at least 3 days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food – at least a 3 day supply of non-perishable food & a manual can opener
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Baby items (if applicable) – food, diapers, formula, wipes, medications if needed, extra clothing
  • Pet supplies (if applicable) – food, medications if needed, cage, leash, collar, tags, medical records
  • Flashlight & extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Cash
  • Phone numbers and medical contacts
  • Paper products – toilet paper, cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
  • Prescription & non-prescription medications
  • Glasses and contact lense solution
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Extra clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Toiletries & personal hygiene items

Evacuations:

If you need to evacuate, make an action plan in advance. If you have any pets, make sure to find hotels that will accept them beforehand.

After the storm:

In the aftermath of a hurricane, remember these important safety rules:

  • Do NOT run a generator indoors – Carbon monoxide emissions are deadly.
  • Do NOT use a charcoal or gas grill indoors – Carbon monoxide and fire risks are too great.
  • Do NOT walk in flooded waters – Limit contact with flood water. Alligators, snakes, downed power lines and sewage could be in the water.
  • Do NOT forget about your pets – They are part of your family.

Be ready before disaster strikes. Stay safe out there.

Save on Environmental Compliance

10% Off Training Now!

10% Off Your Online Environmental Compliance Training Now-Sept 12.

Avoid Workplace Violations and Fines. Get the Environmental Compliance Training you need. And now get it for 10% off! Use code: TRAIN10

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SDWA violations bring $365,000 penalty for Louisiana company

Violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act lead to large civil penalty payment for Louisiana building manufacturing company:

EPA AND JUSTICE DEPARTMENT REACH $365,000 SETTLEMENT WITH CERTAINTEED FOR ALLEGED

SAFE DRINKING WATER VIOLATIONS

“DALLAS – (August 24, 2018) Under a settlement announced today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), CertainTeed Corporation will pay $365,500 in civil penalties to resolve alleged violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) at the CertainTeed Lake Charles Polymer Plant in Westlake, Louisiana. The settlement requires the largest civil penalty payment under the Safe Drinking Water Act by a public water system with respect to drinking water in the state of Louisiana.

“This is an excellent example of EPA and Louisiana working together to ensure compliance with safe drinking water standards,” said EPA Region 6 Compliance Assurance and Enforcement Director Cheryl Seager. We are committed to protecting the public health and will not hesitate to hold companies accountable who refuse to comply with the law.”

In a complaint filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the U.S. alleges that CertainTeed violated drinking water treatment requirements under the SDWA by failing to correct significant deficiencies identified during a Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) sanitary survey of CertainTeed’s public water system located at the Westlake plant. These violations included, among other things, failure to provide approved and permitted drinking water at its facility for its employees and failure to monitor and test for contaminants that can result in adverse health effects. Despite numerous enforcement efforts by both EPA and the state of Louisiana, including letters from LDH, a joint inspection by LDH and EPA, and an EPA administrative order, CertainTeed took over four years to address the significant deficiencies identified in the survey.

As a result of state and federal enforcement efforts, CertainTeed has completed actions to correct the issues alleged in the Complaint and has achieved compliance with the SDWA and the rules to ensure the safety of drinking water served to its employees and facility visitors by public water providers like CertainTeed.

CertainTeed Corporation manufactures exterior and interior building products. CertainTeed Corporation’s Westlake, Louisiana facility manufactures polymer products, including vinyl siding.”

Did you know Envicomply offers a Drinking Water Awareness course?

Learn the importance of preventing contamination before it happens. Check it out now.

Training

Training Spotlight: Contractor Course Packs!

Did you know we offer 9 different Contractor Training Course Packs? Each training curriculum is tailored to your specific job role and ranges from 11-21 individual courses!

Training package categories include:

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Electrical

Environmental Manager Awareness

Environmental Manager Awareness

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Hazard Abatement

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Landscape

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Mechanical

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Painting

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Plumbing

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Prime

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Sitework

Our curriculums contain the training topics that apply to your Contractor responsibilities. And with each course, you’ll learn the rules and regulations needed to do your job safely. We’ve made taking the training you need easier than ever with our user friendly interface, voice over audio, and knowledge check comprehension testing.

Check out our Contractor Training Course Packs now.

Violation for Noncompliance

Clean Water Act Violations for 4 California Companies lead to Costly Civil Penalties

Settlements made with four Oakland companies over Clean Water Act violations. The EPA announced its settlements yesterday totaling $137,000 in civil penalties.

“… the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced settlements with four Oakland companies—Sierra Pacific Ready Mix, Argent Materials, National Recycling Corporation, and Nor-Cal Rock—over Clean Water Act violations. Under the terms of the settlements, the companies will pay a combined $137,000 in civil penalties and will better manage stormwater runoff.

San Francisco Bay, a National Estuary, provides crucial fish and wildlife habitat in an urban area of over seven million people, said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “It is essential that industrial facilities protect the bay, and those who depend on its ecological health, from polluted stormwater.” 

EPA partnered with the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board to inspect concrete, motor vehicle parts and recycling facilities in East and West Oakland. The inspections were part of an initiative by the California Environmental Protection Agency’s (CalEPA) statewide Environmental Justice Task Force, which focuses compliance and enforcement efforts related to air, water, toxics, solid waste, and pesticides.

“By coordinating the work of multiple agencies, CalEPA’s EJ Task Force is taking a comprehensive approach to addressing pollution in California’s poorest and most burdened communities,” said California Secretary for Environmental Protection Mathew Rodriquez. “These settlements, just the latest enforcement actions to result from our Oakland initiative, will help protect San Francisco Bay from stormwater pollution by industrial facilities.”

EPA conducted a total of six inspections between February and March 2017, which resulted in enforcement actions against:

  • Sierra Pacific Ready Mix (also known as Allied Redy-Mix), a ready-mix concrete manufacturing facility – $72,169 penalty
  • Argent Materials, a concrete and asphalt recycling facility – $27,000 penalty
  • National Recycling Corporation, a recycling facility – $23,106 penalty
  • Nor-Cal Rock, a concrete and asphalt recycling company – $15,000 penalty

Each of the companies failed to develop and implement an adequate stormwater pollution prevention plan and failed to use best management practices designed to prevent contaminants from entering stormwater. Sierra Pacific Ready Mix and Nor-Cal Rock also discharged stormwater containing industrial pollutants without first obtaining a permit.

Want to avoid violations and costly fines like these?  Easy. Start with our convenient and trusted training courses to learn overall awareness, best management practices, and the rules and regulations to maintain environmental compliance.

View all of our available training now.

Will You Make the UST Deadline?

Are you aware of the upcoming UST training requirements deadline? This October marks the deadline to be in compliance with the 2015 underground storage tank (UST) regulation and the 2015 state program approval regulation. As part of the EPA’s 2015 revision, minimum training requirements for designated Class A, B, & C operators were established.

“Operators must be trained by October 13, 2018.
After this date, new Class A and Class B operators must be
trained within 30 days of assuming duties.”

Are you up-to-date on your training? Envicomply offers state-specific UST Class A/B Certification and Preparatory Programs that can help fulfill your training requirements and keep you in compliance.

Time is tickingStart your training now!

UST Programs

Environmental Violations Report

Civil penalties and violations for two Arizona companies in noncompliance

Clean Water Act violations lead to civil penalties and settlements for two Arizona companies. Both companies have improved their pretreatment systems to comply with local and federal standards, but at the loss of over 118 thousand dollars in total and to the detriment of the city’s sewer system.

These companies failed to comply with the rules and regulations regarding wastewater. Take your training today to avoid violations like these tomorrow. Check out our full course catalog now.

U.S. EPA Settles with two Goodyear, Ariz.-based facilities over Clean Water Act violations

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced settlements with two Goodyear, Ariz.-based companies to resolve Clean Water Act (CWA) violations. BioFlora, a fertilizer manufacturer, and Inventure Foods, a food manufacturer, will pay $39,000 and $79,957 in civil penalties, respectively. Each company has made improvements to their facilities’ wastewater pretreatment systems to achieve compliance with local and federal pretreatment standards.

“Pretreatment of industrial wastewater protects the downstream wastewater treatment system as well as local waterways,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “These agreements will prevent thousands of pounds of pollutants from entering Goodyear’s wastewater treatment plant.”

As part of negotiations with EPA, BioFlora installed a wastewater recycling system allowing it to become a zero-discharge facility. Inventure upgraded its wastewater system and operations procedures through an Administrative Order on Consent.

Improvements to the companies’ wastewater pretreatment systems will significantly reduce the volume of pollutants sent to Goodyear’s wastewater treatment system each year, including over 230,000 pounds of total dissolved solids, 44,000 pounds of oil and grease and 250 pounds of nutrients in the form of nitrogen and phosphorous.

During inspections in 2016 and 2017, EPA found that BioFlora and Inventure discharged wastewater violating local and federal standards from their manufacturing facilities into the City of Goodyear wastewater system. Municipal wastewater treatment facilities are not designed to treat industrial wastewater; as a result, industrial facilities are required under CWA to pretreat wastewater before it enters municipal drains.

Both facilities discharge industrial wastewater into Goodyear’s sewer system, which in turn flows to the city’s 157th Avenue Water Reclamation Facility.