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EPA Fines Kawasaki Rail Car for Improper Storage and Handling of Hazardous Waste

EPA Fines Kawasaki Rail Car for Improper Storage and Handling of Hazardous Waste

EPA Inspection Found Dozens of Containers of Hazardous Wastes

The Bullet:

A company is inspected, issued a notice of violation, and settles with USEPA to avoid a long costly legal process they will likely lose.  The cost to settle is high and this doesn’t include the costs to come into compliance.

Who:

Kawasaki Rail Car, Inc. (“Kawasaki”) of Yonkers, NY

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Region 2

What:

As part of the agreement, Kawasaki will come into compliance with all federal hazardous waste laws and pay a $71,120 penalty.

Where:

Kawasaki’s facility is at 29 Wells Avenue in Yonkers.

When:

Announced:  April 28, 2016

Why:

No indication in the press release of the specific alleged violations, just…

EPA inspections revealed the company had generated hazardous wastes and had stored these wastes without a permit.

and…

An EPA inspection revealed several dozen containers containing waste paints and solvents, discarded gasoline and unlabeled containers of hazardous wastes. A number of containers of hazardous waste were corroded and leaking.

My best guess is that the facility is a large quantity generator of hazardous waste and accumulated hazardous waste on-site for longer than 90 days or could not prove that the hazardous had not been there longer than 90 days.  Accumulation of hazardous waste for greater than 90 days cannot be done without a permit.  The release also mentions the condition of the containers which violates 40 CFR 265, subpart I.

Not sure of your hazardous waste generator status?

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How:

Though New York has an authorized hazardous waste program under RCRA, the USEPA may still conduct inspections and enforcement of Federal regulations, as is the case here.

Curious about the status of your state?  RCRA Authorization in U.S. States

Conclusion:

Unlike other enforcement actions, this one did not indicate a multi-year process of inspections, NOVs, more inspections, &etc. before the fines are finally paid.  This appears to be a fairly brief and simple story, resulting in significant costs for the business.  Costs that could have been avoided with some simple steps that include my Onsite Training services.

Contact: John Martin, (212) 637-3662, martin.johnj@epa.gov

For more information about federal hazardous waste law, visit: http://epa.gov/osw/hazard

Contact me with any questions you may have about the generation, identification, management, and disposal of hazardous waste

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