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Pinnacle Oilfield Services Violates Environmental Laws in Louisiana

Pinnacle Oilfield Services Violates Environmental Laws in Louisiana

The Bullet:

Pinnacle Oilfield Services, Inc in Broussard, LA will pay a $146,585 civil penalty along with undertaking other measures due to its violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

Logo for US Environmental Protection AgencyWho:

Pinnacle Oilfield Services, Inc., in Broussard, LA

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:  Contact: Joe Hubbard or Jennah Durant at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

What:

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) is the basis for all State and Federal regulations for the “cradle-to-grave” management of hazardous waste.  It is the responsibility of all waste generators to – along with many other responsibilities – perform a hazardous waste determination, determine their hazardous waste generator status, report that status to the appropriate regulatory authority (Louisiana DEQ in this case), and then comply with the “cradle-to-grave” regulations applicable to their hazardous waste generator status.

Where:

Pinnacle Oilfield Services, Inc. is located in Broussard, LAHazardous Waste Regulations in Louisiana

When:
  • USEPA news release dated 3/23/2015.
  • No other dates regarding this case were made available in the news release, which is unusual.
Why:

Pinnacle has since 1994 reported as a Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator (CESQG) of hazardous waste (i.e. generate ≤100 Kg of hazardous waste a month. However, USEPA found that during the past five years, the facility was actually a Large Quantity Generator (LQG) of hazardous waste generating ≥1,000 Kg of hazardous waste per month.

How:

It is interesting that USEPA is the lead enforcement agency in this case and there is not even a mention of the Louisiana DEQ, whose state this business operates in.  However, even in states with authorized hazardous waste programs like Louisiana, the USEPA may still come in to conduct its own inspections and assess violations and civil penalties as it sees fit.

Conclusion:

Correctly determining your hazardous waste generator status is a relatively simple exercise but, as in this instance, a very critical one.  Make certain you have accounted for all eligible hazardous waste you generate when determining your hazardous waste generator status.  Remember that your status could change from month-to-month.  And, if you are an LQG, you must provide annual training for all facility personnel who may come in contact with hazardous waste.

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