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Past Articles:
| Oregon DEQ - Asbestos Fine | USEPA-PCE |
| Fatality - UCLA Lab | Asbestos - Criminal Convictions |
| Oregon DEQ - Underground Tank Fines | Anacortes Yacht Builder Fined $48,000 |
| Idaho Hazardous Waste Site Fines: $684,000 |
| Oregon Lumber Firm Fined $108,000 - PCB |
| Oregon Landlord Cited - Lead paint: $24,600 |
| Kenai Peninsula Borough - New maintenance Building + Violations |
| Bremerton, WA Gasworks added to USEPA Superfund List |
| Penalties for Asbestos Violations - Corvallis, OR |
| Penalties for Underground Storage Tank Violations - Eugene, OR |
| Penalties Filling Wetlands - Coos Bay, OR |
| Penalties - Failure to Report Chemicals - Seattle, WA |
| TCE Contamination in Groundwater - Boeing Algona, WA |
| $868 Penalty - Violations of Tank Regulations, Dorena, OR |
| $61,222 Penalty - Hazardous Waste Violations, Bend, OR |
| USEPA: WalMart - $81 Million Civil Penalty - Hazardous Waste Violations. |
| $7,000 Penalty: Asbestos / Dry Cleaning Violations. |
| Oregon and Idaho - Lead Paint Disclosure - Penalties. |
| Boeing Algona, Wa Groundwater TCE Contamination Update. |
| Alaska DOT Closes Contaminated Wells. | 2017-12-21-News-Groundwater-Contamination-Firefighting-Foams.



FEATURED ARTICLE: 21 December 2017

Firefighting Chemicals Found In Well Water Near Fairbanks Airport

PREFACE: A newly emerging awareness of a range of chemicals, related to fire suppression foams employed in firefighting operations, has recently come to the attention of Alaska residents, and elsewhere in Aerotech's range of operations. These chemicals have been found in groundwater and may present a risk to human health and the environment when such contaminants migrate to aquifers utilized as a source for drinking water.

The map below depicts areas of concern with regard to the release of these chemicals into the ground, and subsequent migration downward into relatively shallow groundwater. Groundwater in this case flows from the source areas along the northern margin of the airport runways, to the west toward the Chena River, where shallow groundwater is expected to 'daylight' or discharge into the river waters. In general, at a point of discharge into surface waters, the concentrations of chemicals detectable in groundwater are commonly greatly dimimished by dilution, as well as degradation due to aeration.

Aerotech has recently made arrangements with a laboratory certified to perform analyses for these chemicals. Please contact Aerotech's Corporate office to request an assessment of your Property or to arrange for sampling and analyses.


By Kortnie Horazdovsky | KTUU | Updated: Wed 5:03 PM, Nov 08, 2017 |

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTUU) - High levels of firefighting chemicals have been found in the groundwater near the Fairbanks International Airport, and the state will be testing nearby water wells starting next week.

The Alaska Department of Transportation says concentrations of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) higher than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency advises were found in the groundwater at the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting training area.

The PFAS chemicals are used in firefighting aqueous film forming foams, which have been used at the airport during training exercises and emergencies for many years.

Other common uses are in products for fire suppression, resistance to wear, and repelling oil, stains, grease and water. They’re found in carpets, upholstery, apparel, paper, packaging products, non-stick cookware, food packaging, and in personal care products.

“The safety of Fairbanks residents is paramount. As soon as PFAS were discovered on airport property, FAI initiated the process of testing neighboring properties. We will share test results with residents as they become available,” Airport Manage Jeff Roach said in a statement.

The airport is working with an environmental consulting firm and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation to identify and sample private water wells west of the airport starting Monday, Nov. 13, 2017.

Those areas include properties between the Chena River and the Airport off of Dale Road, properties off Crown Road and S. Crown Rd. on the west side of the Chena River, and a small area off of Tall Spruce Road near the confluence of the Chena and Tanana Rivers.

Original link: KTUU link


Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation


Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances are a large and complex class of anthropogenic compounds often referred to collectively as PFAS. They are also sometimes referred to as perfluorinated compounds (PFCs). PFAS have been widely used in numerous industrial and residential applications since the 1950’s. Their stability and unique chemical properties produce waterproof, stain resistant, and nonstick qualities in products. They are found in some firefighting foams and industrial processes, and a wide range of consumer products such as carpet treatments, non-stick cookware, water-resistant fabrics, and food packaging materials.

In Alaska, spills or releases of PFAS into the environment are primarily associated with the use of aqueous film-forming foams (AFFF) during firefighting or fire training activities. PFAS compounds of most concern where AFFF has been used are perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). These two compounds are the most studied and both the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have issued levels for comparison. In 2016, ADEC promulgated soil and groundwater cleanup levels and EPA issued their lifetime health advisory level for drinking water.

Because PFOA and PFOS are persistent in the environment and soluble in water, large plumes of groundwater contamination can form where these compounds have spilled. When spills occur in areas served by private or public drinking water wells, the well water is susceptible to contamination.

When contamination from PFAS is found in the environment, the responsible party must evaluate the extent of the contamination in the soil and groundwater, and begin cleanup with ADEC’s oversight. The responsible party is typically the entity that caused the release or the landowner where the release occurred

Alaska DEC .


Washington State Department of Health - PFAS Information

State of What are PFAS?

Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) are a family of similar chemicals manufactured since the 1950s. PFAS chemicals have special properties that have made them useful for grease-proof and water-proof coatings such as coated papers used in food packaging, Scotchgard® used on textiles or Gore-Tex® used in waterproof fabrics. PFAS were also used to make durable non-stick surfaces such as Teflon® pans and medical devices. PFAS were also ingredients in aqueous film forming foams (AFFF) used in firefighting. These special foams were used widely by the military and local fire departments to put out fires at vehicle and airplane crash sites. They were also used in training firefighters.

Once released into the environment, PFAS are very stable and stay around for many decades. They are soluble in water, and can leach into groundwater from surface soils.

Why are we concerned about PFAS?

While many PFAS substances have been used commercially, health and exposure studies have focused on only a small number. Of these, PFOS and PFOA are the best studied and most commonly found in people’s bodies. Safety testing in lab animals indicates that these compounds are potentially toxic to people. A number of studies of people exposed at their job or through environmental pollution, have linked PFOA or PFOS level in blood serum to various health conditions. Some of the results reported are not consistently found in different populations of exposed people making interpretation challenging. We are still learning about the potential health impacts of people’s exposure to PFAS but there is sufficient information to recommend restrictions on PFOA and PFOS.

Recently EPA established a health advisory for PFOS and PFOA in drinking water. Water testing in Washington has discovered PFOS and PFOA in groundwater at levels above this health advisory. Testing is ongoing, but most detections in Washington appear to be associated with nearby use of AFFF firefighting foams.

The Department of Health and Department of Ecology are currently collecting information to identify the extent of PFAS problems in Washington and are working with diverse stakeholders to develop recommendations to address these problems. For more information about this effort:

Wa Dept of Ecology PFAS Info

Additional Links:

The CDC’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry – Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances and Your Health
CDC list - PFAS Info

The United States Environmental Protection Agency - Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs) in Your Environment

C8 Science Panel – Large human study on PFOA
C8 Science Panel - PFAS Info

If you are concerned, we encourage you to talk with your doctor. ATSDR developed the following advice for clinicians.
CDC document - download pdf


California Department of Toxic Substances Control

Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs) in Carpets, Rugs, Indoor Upholstered Furniture, and their Care and Treatment Products DTSC is concerned about the hazard traits of PFASs and their widespread presence in the environment, humans, and other living organisms. Carpets, rugs, and indoor upholstered furniture treated with PFASs for stain-, soil-, oil-, or water-resistance, as well as their PFASs-based care and treatment products, are potential long-term sources of widespread human and ecological exposures to this class of chemicals. The Department is requesting public input to better understand (1) the exposure potential from the use of PFASs in these consumer products, and (2) the hazard traits of short-chain PFASs, fluorinated ethers, and other "novel" PFASs. The comment period to view and comment on our preliminary research for PFASs in carpets, rugs, indoor upholstered furniture, and their care and treatment products ended on December 30, 2016. Click here to view the comments received.

Link at DTSC.Ca.Gov


2014-03-14-News-Groundwater-Contamination-Solvents and Metals



Alaska DOT and Public Facilities to close contaminated wells, protect groundwater in EPA agreement

USEPA: Seattle - March 2014

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have reached an agreement to close 55 motor vehicle waste disposal wells across Alaska located at state vehicle repair and maintenance facilities. Some of the wells are located in state-designated groundwater protection areas and posed a risk to groundwater resources that communities use for drinking water.

"About 80 percent of Alaskans depend on groundwater for drinking water," said Ed Kowalski, Director of the EPA Compliance Office in Seattle. "Closing these outdated wells will help protect Alaska’s critical water resources from the metals and chemicals associated with vehicle maintenance."

ADOT&PF used the wells to dispose of storm water, snowmelt, and water used to wash vehicles. This wastewater may have contained antifreeze, brake fluid, waste petroleum and other vehicular wastes that have known harmful impacts to human health. During vehicle repair and maintenance, these fluids can drip on the floor and enter drains or sinks in service areas. If the drains or sinks are connected to a septic system, dry well or any underground disposal system, chemicals and metals may be entering soil or drinking water supplies.

The Safe Drinking Water Act requires EPA to regulate underground injection wells. The regulations banned motor vehicle waste disposal injection wells in 2000 and required closure of all existing wells due to their high potential to endanger underground sources of drinking water.ADOT&PF has agreed to sample the 55 wells, remove contamination and permanently shut down the wells or convert them to alternate uses by 2018.

ADOT&PF is working with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation and the EPA to close the wells. Six of the wells have already been closed and the closure process has been initiated for other wells. The result will be better protection for groundwater resources across Alaska.

EPA is working to close approximately 330 banned motor vehicle waste disposal wells in Alaska. Owners and operators of facilities with these wells should contact EPA to learn how to improve their waste management practices to protect drinking water resources. As facilities close existing wells or install new wastewater systems, EPA and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation can provide advice on alternative, environmentally-friendly methods to handle wastewater.

As part of the settlement, ADOT&PF agreed to pay a $332,000 for the Safe Drinking Water Act violations.



FEATURED ARTICLE: 15 November 2013

Boeing Fabrication Plant TCE Plume - Update

Washington State Department of Ecology - October 24, 2013

Surface water sampling set for Algona streets and yards

BELLEVUE - Environmental consultants start work this fall in northern Algona to determine whether groundwater contamination that originates on property owned by The Boeing Company (Boeing) in Auburn affects road ditches or winter-time ponds in the area.

The effort is part of a continuing investigation, directed by the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) and carried out and paid for by Boeing.

The consultants, from Boeing's environmental contractor, Landau Associates, will first collect water samples from city stormwater ditches in the residential area.

Later this fall or winter, owners and occupants of about 32 homes and lots will receive letters from the contractor to ask whether water collects in ponds on their property. If so, the company will ask permission to take samples of that water.

The water table in Algona can be very high in the fall and winter. When this happens, groundwater can enter low-lying areas and mix with rainwater. The ditch-and-yard study will help determine whether groundwater contaminants may be present in surface water during the wet season, and, if so, at what concentrations.

Groundwater studies in Auburn and Algona have detected trichloroethene (TCE), a solvent formerly used by Boeing, and related compounds that form as TCE degrades. These include cis-1,2-dichloroethene (cis-1,2-DCE), and vinyl chloride. Groundwater studies in areas outside the Boeing property have detected these compounds at low levels.

The stormwater ditch study will include streets bounded by 7th Avenue North, Boundary Boulevard, State Route 167 and Chicago Avenue. Boeing took groundwater samples in this area earlier this year and did not detect contamination in most locations. The 32 homes and lots are located in the northeastern portion of this area, where groundwater sampling did detect low levels of groundwater contamination.

The city of Algona has aided the study with arrangements for the street-ditch sampling and other technical assistance.

This surface water study is one step in determining the potential effects from contaminated groundwater under parts of Auburn and Algona. Ecology may direct additional surface water sampling, depending on the results of this study.

A water sample previously collected from the Chicago Avenue ditch, in the planned study area, contained the chemicals TCE, cis-1,2-DCE, vinyl chloride and tetrachloroethylene (PCE). The Washington State Department of Health completed an assessment to see if the ditch water would have an impact to children or city workers. The Department of Health found the levels were not likely to cause health problems for people who come into contact with it.

Ecology will request a further assessment from the Department of Health once the upcoming sampling is completed.

Ecology is mailing information about the project to addresses in and near the study areas. When results of the surface water sampling are available, Ecology will post the information online at Ecology Publications .

Related studies

Ecology continues to direct other parts of the investigation:

Vapor intrusion: Boeing received permission to sample indoor air in 15 homes (and one garage) in the area where the groundwater study detected low levels of contamination in Algona. Because the chemicals can release vapors, and because of the high water table, Boeing is assessing whether vapors may be entering homes. Ecology plans to post more information online about these sample results in December.

More surface water studies: Boeing will install a device in the Chicago Avenue ditch to monitor and record the rise and fall of surface water. Comparing the water levels in the ditch with water level data from the nearby groundwater monitoring wells will help in understanding the interconnection of groundwater and surface water. Boeing also will collect water samples from stormwater ponds north of Algona, test them for the chemicals of concern, and install a water level monitor in one of them.

Website improvement: Ecology plans to launch an updated website later this fall to make it easier to track information about the overall investigation into the groundwater contamination from the Boeing property.

Drinking water is safe

The groundwater and surface water contamination does not affect the municipal drinking water supply from Auburn, which also supplies Algona, because the supply wells are located safe distances away from the contamination. Also, the areas groundwater flow carries the contamination from the Boeing facility away from the supply wells.

BOEING AUBURN YARD AND DITCH INVESTIGATION FACT SHEET - October 2013: Ecology Boeing Update - Fact Sheet



FEATURED ARTICLE: 01 August 2013

Oregon and Idaho - Lead Paint Disclosure - Penalties

News Releases from USEPA Region 10 (Seattle)

Oregon and Idaho property managers failed to disclose lead paint hazards to renters - Penalties applied

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered three property management companies in Oregon and Idaho to pay more than $15,000 in federal penalties for failing to disclose lead-based paint hazards to renters.

Elite Property Management, Inc. of Corvallis, Oregon, and Advanced Management, Inc. of Keizer, Oregon, and Hill Rental Properties, LLC of Moscow, Idaho, were each fined for violating the federal Lead-Based Paint Real Estate Notification and Disclosure Rule.

The companies failed to disclose information regarding lead paint and lead-based paint hazards to renters, based on an EPA and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development joint inspection.

Federal lead disclosure rules require property management companies, real estate agencies, property owners, and sellers to inform potential renters or buyers of the presence of lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards in housing built before 1978.

People can get lead in their bodies by breathing or swallowing lead dust, or, especially children - by accidentally eating soil or paint chips containing lead. Improperly removing lead-based paint can also increase the danger to family members.

More about lead disclosure rules and hazards:

Aerotech's lead management services: Additional information.




Violations of Asbestos and Dry Cleaning Regulations - $7,000 Penalty

Owner of Recently Closed Peacock Cleaners in Salem Penalized $7,037 for Violating Asbestos and Dry Cleaning Regulations

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued penalties totaling $7,037 to Daryl Dean Allison, owner of the now closed Peacock Cleaners in Salem, Ore. for violating asbestos and dry cleaner regulations.

Allison operated Peacock Cleaners at 1705 State Street in Salem from 1995 until January of this year at which time Allison closed the business.

During a boiler inspection in September 2012, the inspector informed Allison that a piece of asbestos containing pipe insulation in the boiler room had broken off and fallen onto the floor. Pipe insulation crumbles easily and the potential for the release of harmful asbestos fibers is very high.

However, Allison simply picked up the piece and tossed it in the garbage, leaving portions of the insulation on the boiler room floor and outside the dry cleaner on a walkway.

Only a licensed asbestos abatement contractor is allowed to perform an asbestos abatement project. Allison did not have a license. DEQ assessed a penalty of $2,804 for this violation. Allison was also cited for allowing the material to be stored, unpackaged, on the ground inside and outside the facility. Waste that contains asbestos must be handled properly and contained to meet state and federal disposal requirements designed to protect public health.

Allison also received a $4,233 penalty for violating rules concerning the use and disposal of tetrachloroethylene (also known as "perc" or "PCE"} an extremely toxic solvent commonly used to dry clean clothes. The use and disposal of PCE is highly regulated. PCE has a high potential to cause groundwater contamination and is a hazardous air pollutant.

Allison has been issued a penalty for disposing PCE into the sanitary sewer. On several occasions since January 2009, monitors employed by the City of Salems industrial pretreatment program detected PCE downstream from the dry cleaning operation. City workers also noted an odor of PCE in the sanitary sewer.

During an inspection on Oct. 23, 2012, DEQ inspectors noted that Allison had installed a pipe and hose connecting the dry cleaning machine to a drain in the floor, directing PCE contaminated wastewater to the sanitary sewer. Inspectors detected the presence of PCE in and around the drain.

In addition to the penalty for improperly disposing of a toxic solvent, Allison was also cited, but not penalized, for the following:

  • Improper operation of a wastewater treatment unit designed to treat PCE contaminated wastewater
  • Failing to ship hazardous waste off-site within one year of placing in containers
  • Failing to store hazardous waste in a secondary containment system designed to contain spills
  • Failing to properly label and date containers of hazardous waste
  • Failing to keep a copy of the permit on-site
  • Failing to properly retain hazardous waste shipping records
  • Failing to keep five years of PCE purchase receipts, logs of PCE purchases, leak detection logs, repair logs and refrigerated condenser pressure and temperature logs

Aerotech's asbestos services: Additional information.




Wal-Mart Pleads Guilty to Federal Environmental Crimes - $81 Million Penalty

Wal-Mart Pleads Guilty To Federal Environmental Crimes And Civil Violations And Will Pay More Than $81 Million

Retailer admits violating criminal and civil laws designed to protect water quality and to ensure proper handling of hazardous wastes and pesticides

WASHINGTON: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. pleaded guilty today in cases filed by federal prosecutors in Los Angeles and San Francisco to six counts of violating the Clean Water Act by illegally handling and disposing of hazardous materials at its retail stores across the United States. The Bentonville, Ark.-based company also pleaded guilty today in Kansas City, Mo., to violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) by failing to properly handle pesticides that had been returned by customers at its stores across the country.

As a result of the three criminal cases brought by the Justice Department, as well as a related civil case filed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Wal-Mart will pay approximately $81.6 million for its unlawful conduct. Coupled with previous actions brought by the states of California and Missouri for the same conduct, Wal-Mart will pay a combined total of more than $110 million to resolve cases alleging violations of federal and state environmental laws.

According to documents filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, from a date unknown until January 2006, Wal-Mart did not have a program in place and failed to train its employees on proper hazardous waste management and disposal practices at the store level. As a result, hazardous wastes were either discarded improperly at the store level - including being put into municipal trash bins or, if a liquid, poured into the local sewer system - or they were improperly transported without proper safety documentation to one of six product return centers located throughout the United States.

"By improperly handling hazardous waste, pesticides and other materials in violation of federal laws, Wal-Mart put the public and the environment at risk and gained an unfair economic advantage over other companies," said Ignacia S. Moreno, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division. "Today, Wal-Mart acknowledged responsibility for violations of federal laws and will pay significant fines and penalties, which will, in part, fund important environmental projects in the communities impacted by the violations and help prevent future harm to the environment."

"Federal laws that address the proper handling, storage and disposal of hazardous wastes exist to safeguard our environment and protect the public from harm," said André Birotte Jr., the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California. "Retailers like Wal-Mart that generate hazardous waste have a duty to legally and safely dispose of that hazardous waste, and dumping it down the sink was neither legal nor safe. The case against Wal-Mart is designed to ensure compliance with our nation's environmental laws now and in the future."

"As one of the largest retailers in the United States, Wal-Mart is responsible not only for the stock on its shelves, but also for the significant amount of hazardous materials that result from damaged products returned by customers," said Melinda Haag, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California. "The crimes in these cases stem from Wal-Mart's failure to comply with the regulations designed to ensure the proper handling, storage, and disposal of those hazardous materials and waste. With its guilty plea today, Wal-Mart is in a position to be an industry leader by ensuring that not only Wal-Mart, but all retail stores properly handle their waste."

"This tough financial penalty holds Wal-Mart accountable for its reckless and illegal business practices that threatened both the public and the environment," said Tammy Dickinson, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri. "Truckloads of hazardous products, including more than 2 million pounds of pesticides, were improperly handled under Wal-Mart's contract. Today's criminal fine should send a message to companies of all sizes that they will be held accountable to follow federal environmental laws. Additionally, Wal-Mart's community service payment will fund important environmental projects in Missouri to help prevent such abuses in the future."

"The FBI holds all companies, regardless of size, to the same standards," said FBI Special Agent in Charge David J. Johnson of the San Francisco Field Office. "We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to ensure there is a level playing field for all businesses and that everyone follows the rules."

"Today Wal-Mart is taking responsibility for violating laws that protect people from hazardous wastes and chemicals," said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. "Walmart is committing to safe handling of hazardous wastes at all of its facilities nationwide, and action that will benefit communities across the country."

Wal-Mart owns more than 4,000 stores nationwide that sell thousands of products which are flammable, corrosive, reactive, toxic or otherwise hazardous under federal law. The products that contain hazardous materials include pesticides, solvents, detergents, paints, aerosols and cleaners. Once discarded, these products are considered hazardous waste under federal law.

Wal-Mart pleaded guilty this morning in San Francisco to six misdemeanor counts of negligently violating the Clean Water Act. The six criminal charges were filed by the U.S. Attorneys Office in Los Angeles and San Francisco (each office filed three charges), and the two cases were consolidated in the Northern District of California, where the guilty pleas were formally entered before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero. As part of a plea agreement filed in California, Wal-Mart was sentenced to pay a $40 million criminal fine and an additional $20 million that will fund various community service projects, including opening a $6 million Retail Compliance Assistance Center that will help retail stores across the nation learn how to properly handle hazardous waste.

In the third criminal case resolved today, Wal-Mart pleaded guilty in the Western District of Missouri to violating FIFRA. According to a plea agreement filed in Kansas City, beginning in 2006, Wal-Mart began sending certain damaged household products, including regulated solid and liquid pesticides, from its six return centers to Greenleaf LLC, a recycling facility located in Neosho, Mo., where the products were processed for reuse and resale. Because Wal-Mart employees failed to provide adequate oversight of the pesticides sent to Greenleaf, regulated pesticides were mixed together and offered for sale to customers without the required registration, ingredients, or use information, which constitutes a violation of FIFRA. Between July 2006 and February 2008, Wal-Mart trucked more than 2 million pounds of regulated pesticides and additional household products from its various return centers to Greenleaf. In November 2008, Greenleaf was also convicted of a FIFRA violation and paid a criminal penalty of $200,000 in 2009.

Pursuant to the plea agreement filed in Missouri and accepted today by U.S. District Judge John T. Maughmer, Wal-Mart agreed to pay a criminal fine of $11 million and to pay another $3 million to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, which will go to that agencys Hazardous Waste Program and will be used to fund further inspections and education on pesticide regulations for regulators, the regulated community and the public. In addition, Wal-Mart has already spent more than $3.4 million to properly remove and dispose of all hazardous material from Greenleafs facility.

In conjunction with today's guilty pleas in the three criminal cases, Wal-Mart has agreed to pay a $7.628 million civil penalty that will resolve civil violations of FIFRA and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). In addition to the civil penalties, Wal-Mart is required to implement a comprehensive, nationwide environmental compliance agreement to manage hazardous waste generated at its stores. The agreement includes requirements to ensure adequate environmental personnel and training at all levels of the company, proper identification and management of hazardous wastes, and the development and implementation of Environmental Management Systems at its stores and return centers. Compliance with this agreement is a condition of probation imposed in the criminal cases.

The criminal cases announced today are a result of investigations conducted by the FBI and the EPA, which received substantial assistance from the California Department of Substance and Toxics Control, and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

In Missouri, the case was prosecuted by Deputy U.S. Attorney Gene Porter and ENRD Senior Trial Attorney Jennifer Whitfield of the Environmental Crimes Section of the Environment and Natural Resources Division. In California, the cases were prosecuted in Los Angeles by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph O. Johns and in San Francisco by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacey Geis.




$61,222 Penalty - Hazardous Waste Violations - Reytech Corporation in Bend, OR

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued a $61,222 penalty to Thomas Alan Reynolds for multiple hazardous waste violations related to his Bend business Reytech Corporation.

Reynolds illegally transported and stored hazardous waste in corroded and leaking containers. The waste included a number of potentially explosive chemicals, flammable liquids and many toxic substances.

Much of the waste dates back to between 2002 and 2007, when Reynolds operated a research laboratory at 742 S.E. Glenwood Dr. Reynolds abandoned approximately 1,100 pounds of chemicals at that site, and he illegally transported another 2,400 pounds of chemicals to a Bend storage facility.

The hazardous waste included crystallized tetrahydrofuran, a highly flammable solvent, sodium azide which is explosive and lithium aluminum hydride which is violently reactive when introduced to moisture. Other waste includes:

  • 442 pounds of flammable liquids
  • 193 pounds of toxic liquids
  • 44 pounds of flammable solids
  • 60 pounds of nitric acid
  • 17 pounds of cyanides
Reynolds was Reytech Corporations principle owner and chief executive prior to dissolution of the company in 2006.

DEQ issued the penalty because improperly storing hazardous waste is a threat to the environment and public health. The penalty also aims to ensure that no business receives a financial incentive for bypassing environmental regulations.

Reynolds has until May 22 to appeal the penalty.




$868 Penalty - Violations of Underground Tank Regulations, Dorena, OR

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued an $868 penalty to JT Kirk Enterprises LLC for violating state regulations for underground storage tank systems at the Kirk and Family Mercantile on 37570 Row River Road in Dorena, Ore. In 2009, DEQ issued the company a temporary closure permit certificate for an underground storage tank because the tank was not in active use. However the temporary closure permit expired in October 2010 and JT Kirk Enterprises did not request an extension. Other options available to the company prior to the permit expiring included returning the tank to active service or formally decommissioning the underground storage tank system. A temporary closure permit is valid for one year to allow time for the owner of an underground storage tank to consider their various options. If the owner wishes to continue to not operate the underground storage tank for longer than one year, regulations require that the owner determine if the system is leaking or poses a threat to the environment by conducting a site assessment. JT Kirk Enterprises did not respond to DEQ inquiries seeking how they wish to proceed. DEQ may reduce the penalty amount if the company performs a site assessment to determine if the tank is posing an environmental threat. JT Kirk Enterprises, LLC has until April 16 to appeal the penalty.




TCE Contamination in Groundwater - Boeing Facility, Algona, WA

Image Credit: USGS 2011


According to the Washington State Department of Health, in a document released in February 2012, and the subject of a recent KIRO 7 television news broadcast, solvents once utilized at a Boeing Facility in Algona, Washington were released into the groundwater. Two known carcinogenic compounds, trichloroethylene (TCE) and Perchloroethylene (PCE), as well as other chemicals related to the natural degradation of these solvents, are reported as present in groundwater in both Auburn and Algona. State of Washington Department of Ecology documents record the receipt of a 'Discovery/Release Report' on March 1,1988. The site status is indicated as having been 'Changed to NFA' [No Further Action] on July 12, 2001. However, recent reports indicate that additional investigation, including the installation of numerous groundwater monitoring wells, is now underway.

| WA State Dept of Health News Release | KIRO 7 Broadcast |




Biodiesel Fuel Manufacturer Fined : $62,985 penalty

Image Credit: US EPA 2012


General Biodiesel settles with EPA for hazardous chemical and emergency planning violations

(Seattle - December 26, 2012) General Biodiesel, in south Seattle, will pay a penalty for failing to report their hazardous chemicals in violation of federal emergency planning laws, according to a consent agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

General Biodiesel converts used cooking oils, fish oil, vegetable oil, and animal fats into biodiesel fuel and glycerol in a process that uses hazardous chemicals including methanol, sodium methoxide, and sulfuric acid. In 2009 and 2010, General Biodiesel failed to submit Emergency and Hazardous Chemical Inventory forms to the Seattle fire department, King County emergency management, and Washington's Emergency Response Commission.

"When a company fails to report their hazardous chemicals to emergency planners and responders, they put their employees and the community at risk," said Kelly McFadden, EPA's Pesticides and Toxics Unit Manager in Seattle. "This information is critical to alert federal, state, and local officials to prevent injuries or deaths to emergency responders, workers, and the local community."

Failure to report large amounts of hazardous chemicals to appropriate agencies is a violation of the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.

General Biodiesel agreed to pay a $62,985 penalty and fully comply with federal emergency planning rules to protect their workers, emergency responders, and the local community.




Penalties: Filling Wetlands - Coos Bay, OR : $15,536


DEQ Issues $15,356 in Penalties to Coos Bay Man for Filling a Pony Creek Tributary and Adjacent Wetland

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued penalties totaling $15,356 to Ricky Dale Flowers of Coos Bay for violations including illegal fill of a tributary of Pony Creek and an adjacent wetland. Flowers is also being cited for ignoring prior legal orders to remove improperly placed soils and prevent soil erosion from landscaping activities on his property at 2010 Timberline Drive in Coos Bay, Ore.

The penalties aren't the first issued by DEQ to Flowers related to landscaping and excavation work he's been conducting on his property. In August 2010 DEQ issued Flowers an order to pay $3,788 for polluting wetlands and streams adjacent to his property. At the time Flowers was ordered to remove soils he placed in a tributary of Pony Creek and an adjacent wetland below his property. DEQ also ordered Flowers to stabilize the banks of the tributary, implement erosion controls, and replant vegetation torn up during his excavation work along the stream channel.

Flowers ignored DEQ's order and continued to excavate and dump fill into the tributary and wetlands from Nov. 2, 2010 until at least June 14, 2011 despite repeated requests from DEQ to Flowers to cease operations and take corrective measures to protect Pony Creek.

Flowers appealed the original order, but the Oregon Court of Appeals upheld the order and dismissed the appeal on June 20, 2012. Flowers still has not paid the original penalty and has not performed the work described in the original order. The current $15, 356 in penalties includes a penalty of $4,521 for not complying with the original, upheld order.

On June 14, 2012 a DEQ inspector revisited the property to verify whether or not Flowers had taken steps to comply with the 2010 order and observed that some of the originally ordered surface erosion controls and soil stabilization measures had been taken, but weren't adequate to prevent harm to the tributary and wetland as described in the 2010 order. Flowers had moved the soil stockpiles adjacent to the tributary and wetlands but none of the fill removal or vegetation replanting had been conducted.

The remaining balance of the penalty stems from recent actions by Flowers to further endanger Pony Creek despite repeated warnings and explanations of state and federal laws from DEQ staff. During the same inspection to verify compliance with the 2010 order, DEQs inspector observed that Flowers had recently placed more fill dirt in the wetland and stream adjacent to the property. DEQ assessed a penalty of $10,835 for this violation.

Pony Creek provides important habitat for resident fish and aquatic organisms. In many reaches Pony Creek supports threatened and endangered salmon species. Sediment entering Oregon's streams can result in a wide variety of negative impacts, including mortality, to the fish and other aquatic life. The conditions created by Flowers pose a significant risk of environmental harm.

Flowers appealed the penalties on Oct. 22.




Penalties for Underground Tank Violations - Eugene, OR : $5,780

Image Credit: Wikipedia, Jsayre, Dec 2005

Oregon DEQ NEWS RELEASE - 1 Nov 2012

DEQ Issues $5,780 in Penalties to Tomlins Auto Services for Underground Storage Tank Violations in Eugene

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued penalties totaling $5,780 to Perry Otis Tomlin, for violations of state regulations for underground storage tank systems at Tomlins Auto Service, a facility he owns located on 751 Highway 99W in Eugene, Ore.

In 2008, DEQ issued a temporary closure permit certificate for four underground tanks at the service facility since Tomlin was not actively operating the tanks. The certificate required Tomlin to take action to either permanently decommission the tanks, to reinstate the tanks to active service, or to submit a request to extend the temporary closure permit and perform a site assessment to verify the tanks were not polluting soil and groundwater.

However, the temporary permit expired in 2009 and Tomlin failed to take any of those actions. In addition, DEQ discovered that Tomlin had also failed to perform required inspections and tests of the corrosion protection systems. These inspections and tests are designed to detect leaks and potential tank failure.

Early leak detection is essential. Leaking underground storage tanks can contaminate groundwater and pose risks to human health and the environment. Adequate, timely investigation and cleanup at underground storage tank sites is necessary to contain the spread of contamination, reduce the possibilities of human contact, and minimize the potential for environmental damage.

In addition to the penalties, DEQ also ordered Tomlin to either submit a written request to extend the temporary closure permit along with the results of a site assessment, submit a 30-day notice of permanent closure or to return the tanks to operation, along with the results of a corrosion protection inspection and test

In determining the penalty amounts, DEQ factored in the economic benefit Tomlin gained by failing to conduct the required inspections, tests and site assessment. If Tomlin takes steps to correct these violations immediately, DEQ can reduce the penalty.

Tomlin appealed the penalty on Oct. 8.




Penalties for Asbestos Violations - Corvallis, OR : $25,000

Image Credit: wikipedia-Oakcreek-Mar2007


The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued penalties totaling $24,835 to Scott Wayne Sanders for asbestos violations at a residential property he owns located at 3800 Country Club Drive in Corvallis, Ore. Sanders received a $12,235 penalty for performing or allowing an unlicensed person to perform an asbestos abatement project in July 2012. While conducting a renovation project at a home he owns, Sanders had approximately 225 square feet of asbestos-containing sheet vinyl flooring and underlying vinyl floor tile removed from the kitchen and dining area of the home. The material was mishandled likely causing the release of asbestos fibers into the air.

Asbestos fibers are a respiratory hazard proven to cause cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis. Asbestos is a danger to public health and a hazardous air pollutant for which there is no known safe level of exposure.

Sanders also received a $12,000 penalty for placing the asbestos-containing waste in an open dumpster on the residential property. DEQ inspectors visited the property, noted the violations and informed Sanders he needed a licensed asbestos abatement contractor to properly package the asbestos waste material and complete the project in accordance with state law.

Upon notice of the violations from DEQ, Sanders took efforts to minimize the danger from the asbestos material by packaging the material in thick bags and plastic sheeting but left the wrapped material in the open dumpster. DEQ revisited the property and informed Sanders again he would need a licensed contractor to complete the cleanup and disposal of the asbestos waste material.

Sanders hired a licensed asbestos abatement contractor to complete the project and dispose of the asbestos waste material. DEQ considered these efforts when determining the amount of the penalties.

DEQ also considered Sander's previous penalty history when determining the amount of the penalties. In 2009, Sanders received a civil penalty from DEQ for an unlicensed abatement project that also involved asbestos-containing sheet vinyl and vinyl floor tile.

Sanders has appealed the penalties




Bremerton, WA Gasworks Added to USEPA Superfund Cleanup List

USEPA News Release

(Seattle) Bremerton Gasworks, a former coal gasification plant that operated in Bremerton, Washington from 1930 to 1963, will be listed on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's national list of highly contaminated sites. Bremerton Gasworks is located a mile and a half from downtown Bremerton, along the Port of Washington Narrows. EPA will manage the site under the Superfund cleanup program.

"Cleaning up Bremerton Gasworks will help us shut off one more source of industrial contamination that threatens Puget Sound," said Dan Opalski, EPA Region 10 Superfund Director in Seattle. "Putting this site on our Superfund list will ensure this site gets cleaned up once and for all."

Sediments in the Port of Washington Narrows and soils and groundwater at Bremerton Gasworks are contaminated with polyaromatic hydrocarbons or PAHs from tars associated with the gasification process, plus toxic metals and benzene.

EPA, the Washington State Department of Ecology, Cascade Natural Gas, and the U.S. Coast Guard have been involved in assessments of the site and an earlier beach cleanup. Contamination left on the site could still pollute the Washington Narrows and Puget Sound. The Suquamish Tribe uses this area as a subsistence fishery. EPA will work in close partnership with these agencies, the company, and the Suquamish Tribe to clean up the site.




Kenai Peninsula Borough maintenance shop to construct new building for hazardous waste storage following series of violations


The Kenai Peninsula Borough has agreed to construct a building to store hazardous waste following violations of federal waste management rules at its maintenance facility in Soldotna, Alaska, according to a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "Proper hazardous waste management prevents costly, dangerous spills and keeps communities safe," said Scott Downey, Manager of the Hazardous Waste Compliance Unit in EPA's Seattle office. "We're glad that the shop will soon have a building where it can manage hazardous waste more effectively." An EPA inspection in 2009 identified hazardous waste violations. The facility failed to determine if waste it was managing was hazardous waste, and failed to label containers of hazardous waste and used oil waste. The substances included paint thinners, kerosene and a mix of solvent and anti-freeze. The improperly labeled containers ranged in size from two-gallon containers to a 300-gallon tank. The borough offered to construct the building to store hazardous waste as a way to mitigate the penalty EPA sought to address the violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Under the settlement, the borough will construct and operate the building and pay a penalty of nearly $12,800.




Oregon landlord cited for failing to notify tenants of lead paint hazards


Future residents will receive required information about lead hazards around homes and apartments

(Seattle : June 27, 2012) The Curtis O. Baney Marital Trust of Oregon failed to notify tenants of potential lead paint risks in housing near Klamath Falls, Oregon, according to a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The failure to notify renters is a violation of a federal law designed to protect tenants from lead-based paint hazards in pre-1978 housing. The trust has agreed to pay a fine to settle the violations.

"People have a right to know about lead hazards prior to moving into an apartment or house," said Rick Albright, Director of EPAs Office of Air, Waste and Toxics in Seattle. "Landlords, property managers and home sellers have a responsibility to inform people about lead risks, and they can do this by simply giving potential tenants available records and a short pamphlet that explains lead hazards."

Many homes and apartments built before 1978 have paint that contains high levels of lead. Lead from paint, dust, and soil can be dangerous if not managed properly. Lead exposure can harm young children, babies and developing fetuses. People can get lead in their bodies by breathing or swallowing lead dust, or by eating soil or paint chips containing lead.

Curtis O. Baney Marital Trust leases properties in Klamath Falls, Oregon at the Cimarron and Maverick Apartments. From 2007-2010, Curtis O. Baney Marital Trust leased 50 residential units numerous times and failed to notify tenants about the potential presence of lead paint and lead-based paint hazards, as required by the Real Estate Notification and Disclosure Rule. Curtis O. Baney Marital Trust will pay a $24,600 penalty.

The rule requires landlords, property management companies, real estate agencies, and home sellers to inform potential lessees and purchasers of the presence of lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards in pre-1978 housing. They must also provide the purchaser or lessee with a copy of the Lead Hazard Information Pamphlet, "Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home" before signing any contracts, and keep records showing they have met the federal requirements.




Several Alaskan and Washington State Service Stations Fined by US EPA


(Seattle - May 3, 2012) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) completed 35 enforcement actions from January 1 through March 31, 2012 to ensure individuals, businesses, and governments are complying with environmental regulations. The EPA's compliance assistance programs help people understand and follow federal environmental laws. Enforcement deters those who might otherwise profit from violating the law and levels the playing field with environmentally compliant companies. Protecting human health and the environment is the ultimate objective.

The following businesses in Alaska and Washington state were cited for "failure to conduct tests or maintain documentation to detect or prevent releases to the environment." A total of $5,390 in fines were issued for violations at these named facilities:

  • City Service Valcon
  • Triangle Shell/Exxon LLC
  • Beachway Gas and Grocery and City Shop
  • 13th Avenue Mini Mart,
  • Rocky Point Market
  • Kelso Longview Regional Airport
  • Link's Four Corners General Store




Liberal, Oregon Lumber Firm Fined $108,000 over PCB Violations

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality News Release - May 31, 2012

Environmental Cleanup Site Information (ECSI) Database
Details for Site ID 1806, RSG Forest Products - Liberal Sawmill
This report shows data entered as of May 31, 2012 at 10:17:50 PM
Site ID: 1806 Site Name: RSG Forest Products - Liberal Sawmill
Address: 28890 S Hwy 213 Molalla 97038 County: Clackamas Region: Northwest

Investigation Status: Listed on CRL or Inventory
Brownfield Site: No NPL Site: No Orphan Site: No Study Area: No
Property: Twnshp/Range/Sect: 4S , 2E , 29 Tax Lots: Ten Tax Lots, Sec 29, 29A, 32
Latitude: 45.1904 deg. Longitude: -122.5872 deg. Site Size: 203.13 acres
Other Site Names: Kappler Lumber Company, former / Publishers Paper Company - Molalla Div. / Sanders Wood Products, Inc. / Smurfit Newsprint Corp. /

Site History:

Contamination Information: Contamination at the site has resulted from unknown past practices and on-site disposal of spent DDAC-based lumber treating formulations. Until about 1987, facility operators used PCP- and TCP-based "anti-sapstain" solutions; since then, DDAC has been used, and spent DDAC was spread on-site until 1995. There were numerous episodes of soil, sediment, surface water, and well sampling from 1978 to 1985. Most of this sampling resulted from neighbors' complaints about contaminants migrating from the mill, but samples generally showed low or non-detect levels of PCP and TCP. Significant concentrations of chlorinated phenols were found in puddles beneath lumber treating areas and in sediments from the drainage ditch that serves the facility. Despite such identified "hot spots," cumulative data from these sampling events suggest that past releases of PCP and TCP did not result in persistent or widespread contamination. (GMW 8/26/96) A DEQ hazardous waste inspection on May 8, 1996 revealed the presence of approximately 400 55-gallon drums on the property, many of which were open, leaking, and unlabeled, and appeared to have been stored outdoors for many years. Removed during the summer of 1996, these drums were found to contain mostly water, grease, or a mixture of water and oil; they left several areas of stained soil.

(4/29/09 GG/NWR) The leaking transformer was discovered during a routine PCB Inspection at the site conducted on February 24, 2009 by Mr. Bruce Long of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Oregon Operations Office. As a supplement to the PCB inspection conducted by EPA, Feige and Associates, Inc. (FAI) provided additional information, as requested by EPA, in a document entitled RE: PCB Inspection, dated March 12, 2009.

The leaking transformer is located on a concrete pad adjacent and east of the Precision Mill Building which is located within the north central portion of the site (Figure 2). The concrete pad contains two pad-mounted electrical transformers (Transformer #1 and Transformer #2). The pad is contained on all sides by a 9-inch elevated concrete curb (Figure 2). The containment area prevents any runoff from the pad area to adjacent surfaces.

During the PCB inspection activities staining of the concrete pad was observed inside of Transformer #1 (Figure 2). Transformer #1 is identified as a Westinghouse 1500 KVA pad mounted transformer (Serial #TAV-4511-01) containing 451 gallons of oil. Characterization

Following the PCB inspection, pre-cleanup concrete and sawdust characterization sampling within the area of the transformer pad was performed by FAI on March 17, 2009 and April 1, 2009.

The pre-cleanup characterization sampling included the collection of 3 concrete samples and 6 sawdust samples within areas of the concrete transformer pad. The sawdust within the transformer pad area is due to the mill operations performed at the site. All concrete samples were obtained by chipping the concrete surface with a hammer and chisel. Concrete samples were then collected from a depth of 1/2 to 3/4 inches below the surface of the concrete. Sawdust samples were collected as grab samples within random areas of the pad. All samples were placed in the appropriate sample jars and transported under chain-of-custody procedures to Apex Laboratory of Tigard, Oregon (APEX) for analysis by EPA Method 8082A. Results of the analysis are presented on Table 1. Sampling locations are presented on Figure 2. A copy of the chains-of-custody and the laboratory analytical reports (Report No. A903121, A903144, and A904012) have been included as Appendix A.

Results of the concrete samples analysis indicated concentrations of Total PCBs of between 26.8 parts per million (ppm) and 539.2 ppm. The highest concentration of Total PCBs in concrete was detected in sample #20 located to northeast and adjacent to Transformer #1.

Results of the sawdust sample analysis indicated concentrations of Total PCBs between 1.692 parts per million (ppm) and 7.96 ppm. The highest concentration of PCBs in sawdust samples were detected in Sample #14 located to the south of Transformer #2.

Based on the pre-cleanup concrete sample analysis and visual inspection it appears that PCB impacted areas are limited to the concrete pad adjacent to Transformer #1.

Manner and Time of Release: Manner of release, from the 1940s until about 1987, of PCP-based treatment chemicals, is not documented. More recently, contamination may have resulted from on-site disposal of spent DDAC lumber-treatment solutions. Minor soil contamination resulted from leaking drums in the "boneyard" portion of site.

Hazardous Substances/Waste Types: Chlorinated phenols such as pentachlorophenol (PCP); oil & grease; didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride (DDAC). The facility used both a diptank and spraybooth to apply Koppers T-1, a pentachlorophenol solution, although both treatment systems were located under cover and on paved surfaces (An Inventory of Wood Anti-Sapstain Treatment and Preservation in Northwest and Central Oregon, Oregon DEQ, September 1986).

Pathways: The principal pathway of concern at this site is groundwater, which occurs at a depth of about 20 feet, and is used to supply drinking water to local residents. Direct contact and surface water are secondary concerns. Sampling between 1978 and 1985 suggested that little off-site migration of contaminants had occurred, and that chlorinated phenols were not present in the wells tested. Because chlorinated phenols were used from the 1940s until the 1980s, the fact that these compounds were not detected in wells in the early 1980s is significant.

Environmental/Health Threats: Contamination introduced into surface soils through past practices and on-site disposals of spent DDAC lumber-treating solutions could threaten local drinking water wells. Status of Investigative or Remedial Action: DEQ's Northwest Region RCRA Section is investigating waste-disposal practices at this site, since a sample of DDAC solution collected by DEQ tested as an Oregon-only hazardous waste. Site Assessment recommends that RSG conduct soil and groundwater sampling in the area of DDAC disposals to determine the extent to which this fungicide may threaten local drinking water supplies. Otherwise, a PA should be performed to research the health effects of DDAC and similar quaternary ammonium salts, and to evaluate exposure pathways in more detail. (GMW 8/26/96) A PA should also address possible human health and environmental impacts resulting from the former storage of 55-gallon drums in the "boneyard" portion of the site. (These drums were removed in 1996.) Further action at the site is a high priority. (4/29/09 GG/NWR)

Transformer Decommissioning and Removal

Transformer #1 will be de-energized by Advanced Electrical Technologies (AET) personnel prior to removal. After Transformer #1 is de-energized, it will be removed fromits location with a crane and placed onto a wood pallet which will be overlain by 6 millimeter (mm) plastic. After placing Transformer #1 on the pallet, 6mm plastic will be wrapped completely around the transformer to act as containment during transport. Transformer #1 will be staged on site pending waste profiling. Transformer #1 will be transported off-site for by Clean Harbors Environmental Services Inc. (Clean Harbors) to their processing facility located in Clackamas, Oregon. From the staging facility, Clean Harbors will then transport Transformer #1 to the TSCA-permitted Grassy Mountain Landfill located in Grantsville, Utah. Transformer #1 will be drained and flushed at the Grassy Mountain Landfill, and the liquid PCB waste will be incinerated at Clean Harbors Aragonite, LLC located in Aragonite, Utah. Transformer #1 will be disposed of at the Grassy Mountain Landfill.

PCB Contaminated Concrete Removal

The concrete pad on which Transformer #1 is located will be removed for disposal following the removal of transformer. The concrete pad will be saw cut between Transformer #1 and Transformer #2, and the impacted concrete associated with Transformer #1 will be saw cut into smaller sections, placed in drums, and staged on site pending removal. The approximate area of concrete to be removed is presented on Figure 2.

PCB Remediation Waste

FAI estimates that approximately 40 drums of PCB contaminated sawdust, concrete, soil and personal protective equipment will be generated during the emergency removal of Transfomer #1 and replacement of the concrete pad. PCB remediation waste will be temporarily stored on site in Department of Transportation (DOT) approve 55-gallon drums. PCB remediation waste drums will be appropriately labeled by FAI personnel. Clean Harbors will transport the PCB remediation waste and Transformer #1 off site for disposal at the Grassy Mountain Landfill.

Confirmation Soil Sampling

Following the removal of Transformer #1, and demolition and removal of the concrete pad, FAI wll conduct confirmation soil sampling to evaluate the potential for soil contamination under the former concrete pad. Confirmation soil sampling will be conducted following the EPA Field Manual for Grid Sampling of PCB Spill Sites to Verify Cleanup (May, 1986). A total of approximately 10 soil samples will be collected. Soil samples will be submitted to Apex for analysis of PCBs by EPA Method 8082A. To expedite the remedial activities all samples will be analyzed within a 24-hour turn around time for analysis results.

Potential Additional Investigation and Remediation

If concentrations of PCBs in soil samples collected from under the the concrete transformer pad are greater than 25 ppm, FAI will conduct additional sampling to define the lateral and vertical extent of the PCB contamination.

If PCBs are found in soils underneath the concrete transformer pad, FAI will excavate contaminated soils and stage in drums pending removal. Additional confirmation samples will be collected and additional excavation will be conducted until all soils with PCB concentrations greater than 25 ppm have been removed.

Transformer Pad Replacement

If soil confirmation samples do not contain concentrations of PCBs greater than 25 ppm then FAI will contract Raven and Associates, Inc. of Oregon City, Oregon to install a new concrete transformer pad. The transformer pad will be constructed in dimensions appropriate for the replacement transformer.
AMMONIUM CHLORIDE Soil unk. conc. 12/4/1995 PENTACHLOROPHENOL Sediment 50 ppm 7/15/1983
PENTACHLOROPHENOL Soil 7.5 ppm 6/18/1985
PENTACHLOROPHENOL Surface Water 150 ppm (in puddle) 12/28/1983




Anacortes Yacht Builder Fined $48,000 over Hazardous Waste

Department of Ecology News Release - April 18, 2012

BELLEVUE - An Anacortes yacht builder faces a $48,000 Department of Ecology (Ecology) fine for failing to properly store and dispose of hazardous wastes. An accompanying order requires specific steps the company must take to come into compliance.

Ecology acted after repeatedly finding Northern Marine Yacht Sales LLC and New World Yacht Builders LLC (Northern Marine), 310 North 34th Street, in violation of state and federal dangerous waste requirements.

"By avoiding the costs of complying with the dangerous waste laws, Northern Marine gained an unfair advantage over the many firms that do comply," said K Seiler, who manages Ecology's Hazardous Waste and Toxics Reduction program. "More importantly, improper handling and disposal of dangerous waste places the community and environment at an unnecessary risk."

Northern Marine saved nearly $15,000 by not complying with the regulations, according to Ecology calculations. Ecology inspected the facility and offered assistance three times over eight months, but the company failed to bring itself into compliance.

"This penalty could have been as high as $84,000, because we saw violations at each of the three inspections," Seiler said. "Instead we counted each violation just once. We also lowered the penalty by $9,000, under our policy for small business consideration."

Ecology responded in July 2011 to a complaint of improperly stored hazardous waste containers at Northern Marine. Inspectors documented 13 violations, and directed the business to take corrective actions, but received no response.

In an October 2011 follow-up visit, Ecology found three of the violations corrected, but noted four new ones. In January 2012, inspectors noted one corrected violation and one new one.

Ecology's penalty cites Northern Marine for violating four categories of state and federal hazardous waste laws:

  • Failure to notify: Under Washington's Hazardous Waste Management Act, a business that generates 220 or more pounds of hazardous waste per month must notify Ecology. Northern Marine failed to do so until Feb. 1, 2012.

  • Failure to designate hazardous waste: State and federal law require businesses to assess their wastes to identify those that are hazardous - a process called designation - which determines proper storage, handling and disposal. Northern Marine had not done so for some waste materials, including exhaust filters, and contaminated shop towels.

  • Failure to provide training: A hazardous waste generator must train employees in the safe and proper handling and storage of these materials. Northern Marine failed to produce the required written training program and plan, or records of employee hazardous waste training.

  • Accumulating waste for longer than 90 days: A hazardous waste generator must ship such wastes for proper disposal within 90 days. Northern Marine had four drums of acetone waste and one drum of contaminated rags in the hazardous waste storage area that had been on site longer than 90 days - and remained there following each of Ecology's inspections.

Ecology's order includes a 60-day deadline to correct the waste-handling violations. Northern Marine also must appoint and train an emergency coordinator, provide hazardous waste training to other employees and managers, and submit a written training program and plan.

Within 30 days Northern Marine must pay the penalty or may appeal it to the Washington State Pollution Control Hearings Board.

Enforcement of hazardous waste laws supports Ecology's initiatives to reduce toxic threats and protect Puget Sound.





Idaho Hazardous Waste Disposal Site Failed to Report Chemicals - $184,000 Penalty Follows $500,000 Penalty in 2010

(Seattle: March 22, 2012) US Ecology Idaho, Inc., a hazardous waste disposal site [10.5 miles NW of] Grand View, Idaho, failed to report the on-site disposal of thousands of pounds of chemicals at its facility, according to a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The company has corrected the violations of the Toxics Release Inventory Program and will pay a fine.

"Companies that handle toxic chemicals have a responsibility to be transparent about what they use and release into the environment," said Kelly Huynh, manager of the Inspection and Enforcement Management Unit at EPA in Seattle. "Accurate, timely numbers from companies are critical for communities to have up-to-date information on chemical releases in their states."

US Ecology Idaho, Inc. failed to report the on-site disposal of 20 chemicals and chemical categories during 2009.

As part of its hazardous waste disposal operations, the company disposed of more than 10,000 pounds each of aluminum, arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, copper and copper compounds, diethanolamine, ethylene glycol, manganese, methyl isobutyl ketone, nickel, nitric acid, selenium, silver, thallium and zinc. In addition, the company disposed of more than 100 pounds of lead and lead compounds and more than 10 pounds each of mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls.

Many of the chemicals disposed of at the facility have dangerous human health impacts and risks associated with them.

The company has submitted the required reports to the EPA and the State of Idaho to resolve the violations and agreed to pay a penalty of $184,400.

Under the federal Toxics Release Inventory Program, companies that use certain toxic chemicals are required to report annually about releases, transfers and waste management activities involving toxic chemicals at their facilities.

The Toxics Release Inventory Program falls under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, which aims to inform communities and citizens of chemical hazards in their neighborhoods.


Category: News-Regulation-TRIP-Disclosure - 2 April 2012:
US Ecology - Grand View,ID - $184,000 Penalty




Underground Storage Tanks: Oregon Dept. of Environmental Quality has issued $13,693 in penalties

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued $13,693 in penalties to Virginia A. Vinson of the Jackson County community of Phoenix for violating state regulations for three underground storage tanks at 608 N. Main St., Phoenix.

Vinson is responsible for maintaining the underground storage tank systems on the property. In 1998, Vinson upgraded two of the three tanks. The third tank needed to be decommissioned by Dec. 22, 1999 because it was not upgraded. Although this tank has not been used since 1998, the tank has not been permanently decommissioned. The other two tanks were issued temporary closure permits in 2010 because they also were not operating. The permit expired in June 2011 yet Vinson has failed to either decommission the tanks, return them to active use or conduct a site assessment in order to allow an extension of the permit.

DEQ issued this penalty because failing to maintain an underground storage tank system can lead to leaks that can contaminate groundwater and endanger human health and the environment.Vinson responded to DEQ on Feb. 9 and is in negotiation with DEQ on a settlement.




DEQ Fines Cleaning Company $5,035 for Unlicensed Asbestos Removal in Redmond

Oregon's Department of Environmental Quality has issued a $5,035 penalty to Maricle Industries Inc. for removing asbestos from a Redmond duplex without the required license. The company improperly disposed of the removed material at a landfill in Bend.

Maricle Industries, doing business as Servicemasters Cleaning Specialists, removed about 110 square feet of ceiling tile that contained asbestos during a fire cleanup at 307 NW Elm St., Unit B, in Redmond last October. The company is not licensed to perform asbestos abatement projects.

The company disposed of the material from the cleanup project in the municipal waste section of the Knott Landfill in Bend. This area is not approved by DEQ to accept asbestos-containing waste.

Asbestos is a danger to public health and a hazardous air pollutant for which there is no known safe level of exposure. Asbestos fibers are a respiratory hazard proven to cause lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis. DEQ requires contractor licensing and disposal at approved sites to ensure that asbestos-containing materials are properly identified, removed and disposed of to prevent the release of asbestos fibers.The company has until March 22 to appeal the penalty.



EPA Releases Final Health Assessment for Tetrachloroethylene (Perc) - (Perchloroethyline, PCE)

Image credit:

Release Date: 02/10/2012

WASHINGTON: Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) posted the final health assessment for tetrachloroethylene - also known as perchloroethylene "PCE", or perc - to EPA's Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) database. Perc is a chemical solvent widely used in the dry cleaning industry. It is also used to manufacture some consumer products and other chemicals. Confirming longstanding scientific understanding and research, the final assessment characterizes perc as a "likely human carcinogen." The assessment provides estimates for both cancer and non-cancer effects associated with exposure to perc over a lifetime.

EPA does not believe that wearing clothes dry cleaned with perc will result in exposures which pose a risk of concern. EPA has already taken several significant actions to reduce exposure to perc. EPA has clean air standards for dry cleaners that use perc, including requirements that will phase-out the use of perc by dry cleaners in residential buildings by December 21, 2020. EPA also set limits for the amount of perc allowed in drinking water and levels for cleaning up perc at Superfund sites throughout the country, which will be updated in light of the IRIS assessment.

"The perc health assessment released today will provide valuable information to help protect people and communities from exposure to perc in soil, water and air," said Paul Anastas, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Research and Development. "This assessment emphasizes the value of the IRIS database in providing strong science to support government officials as they make decisions to protect the health of the American people."

The toxicity values reported in the perc IRIS assessment will be considered in:

  • Establishing cleanup levels at the hundreds of Superfund sites where perc is a contaminant
  • Revising EPA's Maximum Contaminant Level for perc as part of the carcinogenic volatile organic compounds group in drinking water, as described in the agencys drinking water strategy
  • Evaluating whether to propose additional limits on the emissions of perc into the atmosphere, since perc is considered a hazardous air pollutant under the Clean Air Act

The assessment replaces the 1988 IRIS assessment for perc and for the first time includes a hazard characterization for cancer effects. This assessment has undergone several levels of rigorous, independent peer review including: agency review, interagency review, public comment, and external peer review by the National Research Council. All major review comments have been addressed.


Category: News-Regulation-Chemical-Toxicity - 1 March 2012:
Large Document (1,077 pp, 14.4M)

US EPA Fact Sheet Excerpts for PCE

INTRODUCTION: Tetrachloroethylene, also known as perchloroethylene, or perc, is the predominant chemical solvent used in dry cleaning. Perc is also used in the cleaning of metal machinery and to manufacture some consumer products and other chemicals. It is a clear, colorless liquid that has a sharp, sweet odor and evaporates quickly. It is an effective cleaning solvent and is used by most professional dry cleaners because it removes stains and dirt from all common types of fabrics. Perc is also a toxic chemical with both human health and environmental concerns. To minimize these concerns, EPA is working with the dry cleaning industry to reduce emissions and over time phase out uses of perc in some settings. However, EPA does not believe that having your clothes dry cleaned with perc will result in an increased risk for adverse health effects for you or your family.

NON-CANCER HEALTH RISKS: At certain levels over a sustained period, exposure to perc can cause adverse non-cancer effects on the human nervous system. Long-term exposure to perc can also pose a potential human health hazard to reproduction and development, and to the kidney, liver, immune and hematologic systems. The risk of any non-cancer health effects from perc exposure depends on the amount of perc a person is exposed to and how long the exposure lasts. People exposed to high levels of perc, even for brief periods, may experience symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, headaches, confusion, nausea, and skin, lung, eye and mucous membrane irritation.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT: Perc can get into the air, water and ground during the cleaning, purification, and waste disposal phases of dry cleaning.

1. Outdoor Air: While not a cause for public concern, perc can escape into the outdoor air through open windows, vents, and air-conditioning systems at facilities using perc. Once outdoors, perc can remain in the atmosphere for several weeks. After a few weeks, perc breaks down into other chemicals, some of which are toxic, and some of which are suspected to deplete the ozone layer. Perc itself does not deplete the ozone layer of the atmosphere.

2. Ground: Perc can enter the ground in liquid form through spills, leaky pipes, leaky tanks, machine leaks, and from improperly handled waste. Significant amounts of perc have been found in waste resulting from dry cleaning, which is considered a hazardous waste by the EPA. Perc is known to be toxic to plants.

3. Water: Perc can seep through the ground and contaminate surface water, groundwater, and potentially drinking water. A small amount of perc can contaminate a large amount of water and people can be exposed by drinking or using the water. EPA has a limit on the amount of perc that is allowed to be in drinking water. Well water can be tested to be sure it is below the EPA standard. Small amounts of perc in the water can be toxic to aquatic animals and can be stored in their fatty tissues.

IMPACT ON SUPERFUND CLEAN-UP SITES: The Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) will continue to use the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) of 5 ppb for perc, established by the EPA Office of Water, as the remediation goal for ground water that may be used as a drinking water supply. At Superfund sites where a state, such as California, has a more stringent standard for perc, that standard will be considered as the cleanup goal.



Charges Filed in Los Angeles in the Case of a Fatality at a UCLA Research Lab

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This recent case revealing an apparent failure of safety precautions illustrates both the potential for tragedy with regard to loss of human life and the potential for high litigation costs. In this case, a young woman pursuing a career in law after receiving a degree in chemistry, working in a university research lab, died of burns sustained during the spillage of a dangerous flammable chemical. It is another example of a primary rubric in industrial safety, that though the conditions which precipitate accidents may be quite rare, the cost in life as well as litigation and reputation provide ample incentive to direct routine attention to the details of prevention. A review of the MSDS, Material Safety Data Sheet, very clearly reveals the extreme danger associated with this particular highly reactive, acidic and flammable chemical. The habitual use of laboratory jackets and face masks or splash shields in this case would have readily prevented the fatality and prevented or minimized injury.

Complete Document:

2012-01-09-News-Regulation-Industrial Safety-1
Category: Industrial Health and Safety - 9 Jan. 2012:
UCLA Lab Fatality - AIHA

Related Documents:

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Reference: MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet):


Asbestos in the News: A Major Ruling in a Criminal Liability Case

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Insurance Journal - 13 Feb 2012

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CBS News - CBS Money Watch - 13 Feb 2012

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Washington Post - 13 Feb 2012

History Prior to 2010

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INDRET - Revista para el Análisis del Derecho
(Journal for the Analysis of Law - Article - University of Torino)

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Charges Filed: Fatality at a UCLA Research Lab

9 JAN 2012: This recent case revealing an apparent failure of safety precautions illustrates both the potential for tragedy with regard to loss of human life and the potential for high litigation costs. In this case, a young woman died of burns sustained ... More: [NEWS]

USEPA: Ruling: EPA Must Implement Controls to Ensure Proper Investigations

9 JAN 2012: Grantees awarded EPA Brownfields Assessment Grants must meet AAI ("All Appropriate Inquiry") requirements. AAI is the process of evaluating a property for potential environmental contamination ... More: [LAW]

Mold - A Significant Biological Hazard

1 FEB 2012: According to public health expert, Dr. Joseph Jarvis: "While it may not be possible to determine the level of exposure needed to cause a problem, there is much documentation that exposure to indoor mold can cause respiratory allergies ..." More: [EDUCATION]

Construction Accident Investigation Files

9 JAN 2012: FEATURED REPORT: A new example from our Constuction Accident Report Files will be available for your review here. ... More: [CONSTRUCTION]


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