CEO Faces $250K Fine, 5 Years in Jail for Illegal Hazardous Waste Storage

Posted on 7/29/2015 by Roger Marks

The CEO of a chemical company that stored drums of corrosive and ignitable hazardous waste in a Camden, NJ facility basement will face criminal charges and a $250,000 criminal penalty for illegal waste storage under Federal hazardous waste law. According to the indictment from the US District Court of New Jersey, from December 2003 through August 2011, Concord Chemical stored hazardous waste drums without a permit from US EPA or the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). In 2004 and 2005, company employees began removing drums from the Camden, NJ basement, but never finished the job due to the CEO’s assertion that the company could not afford to remove additional drums.

RCRA Site Inspection and EPA Enforcement

EPA discovered the drums of corrosive and ignitable waste during a site visit in 2010, when they found the deteriorated Camden site abandoned and devoid of employees. EPA removed the drums between October 2010 and March 2011. Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), US EPA is authorized to remove hazardous waste from industrial sites and hold potentially responsible parties financially liable.

In September 2011, EPA contacted the CEO, who gave false statements, including failure to identify himself as an officer of Concord Chemical and a related entity.

US Hazardous Waste Laws and Regulations

To store and manage hazardous waste, businesses in the US must comply with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), enacted in 1976. RCRA prohibits the treatment, storage, or disposal of regulated hazardous wastes without a permit issued by US EPA or an authorized state.

In addition to management standards for hazardous waste, RCRA sets forth a training requirement for hazardous waste personnel. For personnel who can affect RCRA compliance in a facility that generates hazardous waste, training is required annually.

Interactive RCRA Hazardous Waste Training

By understanding your responsibilities for managing hazardous waste at your site, you can help your business avoid civil penalties for waste management mistakes and future liability under CERCLA. Led by an expert Lion RCRA instructor, the Hazardous/Toxic Waste Management Workshop is presented in cities nationwide. Whether you’re new to hazardous waste management, want an update on the latest rules, or need to meet your annual RCRA training mandate, this two-day workshop is “the standard” in RCRA compliance training. Find a workshop near you now.

Tags: EPA, hazardous waste, RCRA

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