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Submarine Base in Groton, Conn. Fined for Hazardous Waste Violations

Release Date: 04/01/2008
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – April 1, 2008) – The U.S. Naval Submarine Base in Groton Conn., will pay a cash penalty and perform an additional environment project, in settlement of EPA allegations of improper storage and management of hazardous wastes.

Under the settlement, the Base will pay $37,059 in penalties, and will undertake a $114,000 project to install solar-powered air conditioning in a storage bay where ignitable hazardous wastes are stored, within the Base’s permitted hazardous waste treatment and storage facility. The air conditioning required in the settlement will help keep the storage bay from becoming overheated. An overheated storage bay could pose a hazard associated with ignitable hazardous wastes.

An EPA inspection of the submarine base’s hazardous waste storage facilities in August of 2006 identified significant violations of federal requirements, including the failure of the Base to maintain adequate building ventilation in the main building used for the storage and treatment of hazardous wastes.

“Any and all facilities storing or handling hazardous wastes must follow established procedures that are designed to protect public health and our environment,” said Robert Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office.

With summertime temperatures documented during the inspection peaking at about 95 degrees, the main storage building lacked adequate ventilation to ensure that flammable materials were stored at a safe temperature and that employees could work under safe conditions. Other locations throughout the Base also exhibited unsafe or improper storage of hazardous wastes.

Federal hazardous waste storage and treatment requirements are part of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). This law governs the generation, treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous wastes and provides EPA with authority for conducting compliance monitoring and enforcement activities.

EPA has conducted at least five multimedia inspections at the Groton submarine base. Both EPA and the Connecticut Dept. of Environmental Protection have issued notices for previous waste violations at this site.

More information:
Enforcing hazardous waste requirements in New England (epa.gov/region1/enforcement/waste)

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