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EPA Orders Global Environmental Methods to Cease Operations

Release Date: 02/06/2009
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Anthony Suttice at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

(Dallas, Texas - February 6, 2009) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in coordination with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ), has ordered Global Environmental Methods to cease all operations at their waste oil and industrial process waste management and treatment facility in New Iberia, Louisiana.

The facility, located at 4918 South Lewis Street, is in violation of its discharge permit issued by the LDEQ.

“EPA will continue to vigorously enforce our nation’s environmental laws through a strong enforcement program,” said EPA Region 6 Compliance Assurance and Enforcement Division Director John Blevins. “When these facilities fail to follow the rules, immediate actions will be taken to ensure compliance with the law.”

“This is an example of how state and federal government working together can improve compliance, and therefore the quality of our environment, within the state of Louisiana,” said Peggy Hatch, DEQ Assistant Secretary of the Office of Environmental Compliance. “We hope that other facilities that are willfully disobeying the environmental regulations take notice. There are so many businesses that operate within the rules. Those who don’t should expect to face the stiffest enforcement action possible.”

On February 4, 2009, EPA and LDEQ representatives conducted an inspection at the facility during which numerous deficiencies and discrepancies were observed, all in violation of the requirements of their state issued permit.

These deficiencies and discrepancies included inadequate treatment of process wastewater and waste oil, and discharge volumes significantly greater than the total available treatment and storage capacity. Inspectors also noted the current treatment process varied significantly from the treatment process described in the discharge permit application submitted to LDEQ and were unable to determine the facility’s compliance status with the permit due to lack of documentation.

Inspectors also observed twenty-seven 55-gallon drums in poor condition and some were leaking. The contents of the drums were not consistent with drum labeling. Soil staining, indicating a release of petroleum waste, was observed in several areas throughout the facility and included a path that led directly to Commercial Channel which discharges to Vermilion Bay. The facility’s wastewater treatment system was leaking pollutants suspected to be hazardous waste.

Based on these findings, EPA, in coordination with LDEQ, has ordered Global Environmental Methods to cease all operations at the facility, including discharges of wastes or any process water and stop accepting any waste material for storage or treatment.

Global Environmental Methods has also been ordered to notify EPA and the state within 15 days of the details and efforts conducted to cease and desist all operations at the facility and within 30 days submit a report to EPA and LDEQ detailing all actions to comply with the order.

More about activities in EPA Region 6: http://www.epa.gov/region6

EPA audio file is available for 30 days at http://www.epa.gov/region6/6xa/audio.htm#audio020509_gem

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