Sister Hazardous Waste Firms to Pay $325,000+ for RCRA Violations

Bridgeport United Recycling Inc. and United Oil Recovery Inc., two closely-related Connecticut companies that treat, store, and dispose of used fuel, will pay a combined penalty of more than $325,000 for alleged violations of federal hazardous waste laws, according to a settlement filed by the U.S. Dept. of Justice and U.S. EPA and announced yesterday. The companies reached the settlement regarding their alleged violations of the "hazardous waste generator, treatment, storage and disposal," and "organic air emissions" requirements of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. EPA initiated a single enforcement action against the sister organizations.

In addition to accepting used fuels and other hazardous wastes for treatment and disposal, the facilities generate large quantities of hazardous waste and market hazardous waste fuel and “off-spec” used oil fuel. United Oil Recovery (Meriden, Conn.) is also a transporter of hazardous and non-hazardous waste. Under the settlement, Bridgeport United Recycling (Bridgeport, Conn.) will pay a civil penalty of $205,798, and United Oil Recovery will pay a civil penalty of $119,392 to the United States. Bridgeport United Recycling also will be required to automate and upgrade the device that controls organic air emissions at its facility, including installation of high-level alarms, automatic switching of the carbon beds, and increasing the operational rate of the blower. The facility improvements and other requirements of the settlement will ensure that hazardous wastes from both companies’ facilities are property treated and disposed, and that operations are conducted without harming the health and safety of neighbors and workers, EPA says.

EPA's action is based on an inspection of the Bridgeport facility conducted jointly by EPA and the Conn. Dept. of Environmental Protection (CT DEP) in Sept. 2003, and inspections of the Meriden facility conducted by CT DEP in June, July and September 2003. The purpose of the inspections was to ensure compliance with federal and state requirements of RCRA, which governs the management and disposal of hazardous waste.

The agency's joint inspections with CT DEP revealed that both facilities failed to operate in compliance with applicable hazardous waste management standards, as well as regulations covering organic air emissions from tanks of hazardous waste. Violations at the Bridgeport facility related to improper design and operation of the control device that is used to reduce organic air emissions. Violations at the Meriden facility included failures in hazardous waste analysis and verification testing, acceptance of certain un-permitted wastes, and regulatory permitting and container management requirements.

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