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EPA announces Pacific environmental enforcement accomplishments for 2007 Hazardous waste related cases highlight year

Release Date: 11/15/2007
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov

(11/15/07) HONOLULU – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s enforcement actions for 2007 in Guam, American Samoa and CNMI continues the agency’s successful efforts to make polluters achieve on-the-ground improvements to bring environmental and public health benefits.

Increased focus on compliance with hazardous waste, underground storage tanks, and oil spill management regulations made up a majority of the cases for CNMI, Guam, and American Samoa. Polluters committed to more than $2.48 million to correct environmental violations and prevent future pollution, resulting in over 1 million pounds of pollutants reduced in the environment.

“Our actions against companies mismanaging hazardous waste in Guam and CNMI will provide island residents cleaner air, water and land,” said Wayne Nastri, administrator of the EPA’s Pacific Southwest office. “The EPA will continue to enforce environmental laws and ensure compliance of environmental regulations to improve public health.”

The EPA worked with the Guam EPA, CNMI Division of Environmental Quality and the American Samoa EPA to continue the successful compliance and enforcement partnership in the islands.

Below are enforcement highlights for the Pacific Islands:

Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands

    • Everbright Company, Ltd. was fined $5,000 for hazardous waste violations at its facility located in the Fina Sisu Village, Saipan. The facility is a full service screen printing business and generates wastes such as toluene, turpentine, naphtha-based and other cleaning solvents, and waste ink.
    • JG Sablan Rock Quarry, Inc. was fined $400,000 for used oil and used battery management violations at its Lower Base facility in Saipan. In March 2005, EPA inspectors discovered 2,000-gallons of used oil and 85 severely corroded and leaking 55-gallon containers of used oil inside the facility’s secondary containment area. The inspectors also found heavily oil-stained soil under 50 additional containers and on surrounding soil, along with many other leaking containers, vehicles, and lead acid batteries throughout the facility.
    • The EPA ordered the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation to clean up spilled oil and prevent discharges of oil at Power Plants 1 and 2 at its Lower Base facility in Saipan. The order required CUC to stop all oil discharges and take steps to prevent future spills. The order also requires CUC to develop a used-oil management and disposal program aimed at reducing the amount of used oil stored at the facility.

Guam
    • Carrier Guam, of Tamuning, refrigeration and heating equipment services company, was fined $63,922 for allegedly importing refrigerants regulated by the Clean Air Act. The company imported 32,356 kilograms of hydrochlorofluorocarbon, an ozone-depleting substance.
    • Guam Waterworks Authority was fined $40,000 for failing to fully comply with a 2003 court order to repair and improve its wastewater system. GWA failed to meet April and June 2007 deadlines for the Agana sewage treatment plant and a May deadline for the Northern District plant to ensure compliance with federal permit limits from these two facilities.
    • California-based Four Seasons General Merchandise, Inc. and 26 California Bazar, were fined $24,960 and $9,360 respectively for the alleged sale and distribution of unregistered pesticides in Guam and California, a violation of federal pesticide law. Four Seasons sold the unregistered pesticides Clorox Disinfecta--a Mexican version of Clorox Bleach--and Citronella Incense mosquito coils to retailers in Guam and California on five occasions between August 2006 and March. 26 California Bazar sold the unregistered pyrethroid pesticide, Camping Mosquito Sticks, to Guam retailers on two occasions. In addition to the fine, the company has agreed to stop selling the product.
    • Guam Waterworks Authority was issued a compliance order for improperly reusing sewage sludge from its Northern District Sewage Treatment Plant. The EPA found sewage sludge from the treatment plant was distributed in violation of the Clean Water Act. Sludge of an unknown quality was distributed between January and August 2006 to several individuals for use on fruit trees and bushes

American Samoa
    • Seaside Service Station was fined $10,400 over alleged federal underground storage tank violations at its facility in Malaloa Village, American Samoa. Seaside Service Station failed to meet federal requirements by not conducting line tightness tests or using a monthly leak detection method on its petroleum piping, and by not adequately monitoring the underground tanks for leaks.

Please go to http://www.epa.gov/region09/enforcement/results/index.html for a full description of the EPA’s enforcement cases throughout California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands in 2007. For information on the EPA’s national enforcement summary for 2007, go to: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/data/results/annual/fy2007.html  

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