Company Ignored Agency Warning and Repeated Violation
WILLIAMSPORT — The Department of Environmental Protection today announced that it has fined Welded Construction LP of Perrysburg, Ohio, $12,000 for illegally burning wood mats on two occasions in August at its facility in Wolf Township, Lycoming County.
“We told company officials that the open burning of wood waste is a violation of Pennsylvania’s Solid Waste Management Act during our first complaint investigation,” DEP North-central Regional Director Marcus Kohl said. “Yet just eight days later, DEP inspectors caught the company doing the exact same thing.”
Kohl added that it is the responsibility of out-of-state companies to become familiar with Pennsylvania’s environmental laws and regulations to avoid enforcement action, including fines, which may be taken by the department when violations are documented.
“These mats should have been beneficially reused, or taken to a permitted landfill for proper disposal,” Kohl said.
A follow-up inspection conducted by the department in early September confirmed that all violations had been corrected.
The mats – made from hardwood timbers bound together by metal bolts and pins –are used to prevent destruction of land during the movement of heavy equipment in areas of soft ground, wetlands or streams.
You may think that open burning would be a violation of a state’s air regulations, and not its solid waste regulations, as is indicated here. In fact, the open burning of waste, both hazardous and non-hazardous, was one of the original goals of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) passed in 1976, codified as Federal regulations of the USEPA beginning in 1980, and adopted or incorporated into state regulations by most states (all but Iowa, Alaska, and Puerto Rico) throughout the 1980s. Read more about it here: The History of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
Contact me to schedule training that will ensure compliance with the regulations of the USEPA and your state.
For more information, visit www.dep.state.pa.us or call 570-327-3653.