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Behlen Manufacturing Company to Pay $59,996 Civil Penalty for Hazardous Waste Violations in Columbus, NE

Behlen Manufacturing Company to Pay $59,996 Civil Penalty for Hazardous Waste Violations in Columbus, NE

(Lenexa, Kan., Nov. 5, 2012) – Behlen Manufacturing Company, an agricultural and industrial product manufacturer, has agreed to pay a $59,996 administrative civil penalty to settle a series of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) violations in Columbus, Neb.

In addition to paying the civil penalty, the company will spend a minimum of $75,578 to install pollution reducing equipment as part of a supplemental environmental project.

According to an administrative consent agreement filed by EPA Region 7 in Kansas City, Kan., EPA representatives conducted a compliance evaluation inspection at the company’s Columbus facility in October 2009, and noted several RCRA violations. RCRA regulates the storage, handling, and labeling of hazardous waste.

“Behlen Manufacturing was cooperative throughout the negotiation process,” EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks said. “The innovative environmental project that Behlen will complete will turn wastes into a useful product and is an example of environmental stewardship for similar companies to follow.”

The violations at Behlen Manufacturing included failure to perform a hazardous waste determination, operating a hazardous waste storage facility without a RCRA permit, and failure to comply with universal waste requirements.

By agreeing to the settlement with EPA, Behlen Manufacturing Company has certified that it is now in compliance with all requirements of the RCRA regulations.

This article documents the fines paid by Behlen, but it can’t account for the loss to its good name by publicity of this sort.  Nor does it account for lawyer fees (you know lawyers were involved).  And yet, the cost for compliance is so low.  What would it take to prevent these violations from occurring?  Using the above news release as a guide, I say a few hours of documenting a hazardous waste determination, staying on top of hazardous waste accumulation dates through weekly inspections, and proper labeling and handling of universal waste.  I cover all of these topics, and a lot more, in my RCRA training (on-site or public workshops).  Contact me for a free consultation on your training needs and don’t let the next news release be about your company.