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U.S. EPA Files Complaint against Nevada Businessman for Solid and Hazardous Waste Violations in Indian Country

Release Date: 05/24/2010
Contact Information: Cara Peck, peck.cara@epa.gov, 415-972-3382

SAN FRANCISCO - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is citing Gardnerville, Nevada, businessman Reed Skenandore with violating federal law governing the safe handling and disposal of solid and hazardous waste.

Skenandore operates an auto dismantling business and an un-permitted illegal waste disposal site that has resulted in open dumping and illegal disposal of hazardous waste over an 80-acre site. The facility is located in Indian Country located near Gardnerville, Nevada, in Douglas County.


The Skenandore auto dismantling and illegal waste disposal site not only contained waste from the on-site dismantling of automobiles, but also contained large quantities of waste accepted from off site. Wastes included abandoned automobiles, trailers, tires, car batteries, construction waste, used oil, used appliances, televisions and computer monitors, waste paint, and aerosol cans.

“Open dumping is a problem in Indian Country and other rural areas with limited access to solid waste management programs,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest region. “When individuals choose to operate facilities that promote open dumping and the illegal disposal of hazardous waste, EPA will hold them accountable by vigorously enforcing federal laws to protect communities and the environment from harm.”

Car batteries and television monitors are particularly hazardous, as they can release toxic lead into the environment if not managed and disposed of properly. Additionally, the facility did not properly manage automobile fluids and oil which can result in environmental contamination. Used oil must be properly contained, labeled, and sent off site for proper recycling.

There are more than 1,400 inventoried open dumps in Indian Country in the Pacific Southwest. With EPA assistance, tribes have closed or cleaned up more than 500 sites in the past three decades. EPA works closely with the Indian Health Service and tribes to identify sites for cleanup. EPA funding supports the development of tribal waste management programs as well as the cleanup and closure of open dump sites.

EPA’s administrative complaint alleges that Reed Skenandore violated the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) by:

        Open dumping of solid waste;
        Open burning of solid waste;
        Failing to notify EPA of its waste handling activity and to apply for an EPA identification number;
        Failing to label containers of used oil; and
        Failure to respond to releases of oil to the environment.

Under RCRA, EPA can assess a civil penalty of up to $37,500 per day, per violation.

For more information on the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act program, please visit:
http://www.epa.gov/compliance/cleanup/rcra/index.html


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