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Jail Time, $1M Fine for RCRA Hazardous Waste Violations

Posted on 3/9/2016 by Roger Marks

In a joint press release issued on March 8, the United States Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a criminal sentence for a CEO of a Costa Mesa, CA aviation company.

Under the CEO’s watch, the company operated a painting facility for aircraft in Greenville, MS.
The CEO pled guilty to a felony count of “aiding and abetting others in knowingly making false materials statements in a record or report maintained or used for the purpose of compliance set forth by the US EPA.” In other words, he misrepresented information about his facility’s management, storage, treatment, and/or disposal of hazardous waste on reports required under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

The aviation CEO has been sentenced to five months in prison and ordered to pay $250,000 in restitution for these RCRA violations. After leaving prison, he will be subject to five months of house arrest, followed by one year of supervised release. The company already pled guilty to one count of treating, storing, or disposing of hazardous waste without a permit, a felony, and was ordered to pay $1 million in fines.

Read the DOJ/EPA joint press release here. 

EPA RCRA Hazardous Waste Label

RCRA Hazardous Waste Reporting Requirements

US EPA requires some sites that generate hazardous waste to file biennial reports covering generation, management, and final disposition of its RCRA-regulated hazardous wastes. The biennial report is due on March 1 of each even-numbered year. Your facility must report if you generate the following volumes in any calendar month in the year prior to the reporting year:  
  • Greater than or equal to 1,000 kg (i.e., 2,200 lbs.) of hazardous waste; or
  • Greater than 1 kg (2.2 lbs.) of any acute hazardous wastes listed at 40 CFR 261.31 (F-listed waste with the hazard code "H") or 261.33(e) (P-listed waste); or
  • Greater than 100 kg (220 lbs.) of any residue or contaminated soil, waste, or other debris resulting from the cleanup of a spill, into or on any land or water, of any acute hazardous wastes listed 40 CFR 261.31 or 261.33(e).
More: Which hazardous wastes should be included on a Biennial report?

Some states impose unique RCRA reporting requirements for hazardous waste generators. In Texas, for example, some generators must report annually under the STEERS program.

Live RCRA Refresher Training

Renew your annual RCRA certification at the live, instructor-led RCRA Hazardous Waste Management Refresher Webinar on March 15. The webinar is the next best thing to catching a Lion RCRA workshop: It blends the convenience of online learning with the engaging, effective experience of Lion’s in-person training.  

Instructors use polls, Q&A, software tools, and exercises to make your experience as much like the workshop as possible. Designed to engage your critical RCRA thinking skills, these unique webinar sessions are presented for a live online audience only (not recorded). Don’t miss your chance to join us on March 15!  

Tags: enforcement, hazardous waste, RCRA

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