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EPA settles with Saipan screen printer for $5,000 over hazardous waste violations

Release Date: 01/08/2007
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov

(01/08/07) HONOLULU – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently settled with Everbright Company, Ltd. for $5,000 for hazardous waste violations on its facility located in the Fina Sisu Village, Saipan.

“Any operation that generates hazardous wastes needs to manage the waste properly to protect public health and the environment,” said Jeff Scott, Director of Waste Programs for the EPA Pacific Southwest Region. “The company also needs to make the proper notification of its hazardous waste activities as required by the law. Most important, the waste needs to be disposed at an approved and permitted hazardous waste disposal facility.”

The company was fined for:

* storing, treating and disposing of hazardous waste without a permit,
* not identifying its hazardous waste,
* failing to notify the EPA it owned or operated a hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facility, and was a hazardous waste generator,
* failing to stop releases of hazardous waste and keep the waste in the proper containers,
* not conducting weekly inspections of the hazardous waste storage area.

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. The waste found at the facility has since been disposed at an off island hazardous waste disposal facility.

In October 2005, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands’ Division of Environmental Quality at the request of the EPA, conducted an unannounced inspection of the Everbright Facility and found the company failing to collect all of its chemical wastes. Instead it was discharging the wastes to its septic tank, which in turn discharges into the soil via an outlet pipe. Any wastes in the septic tank that are not discharged into the soil are removed and discharged into the CNMI’s sewer system.

Inspectors also found the company was discharging solid and hazardous wastes to a stormwater ponding basin. They found evidence of a release of waste from a break in the waste storage area containment berm. The company also added a new, unauthorized wash-water discharge to the facility that discharges to the ground and the company continues to dispose of waste ink by air-drying and evaporation.

The EPA’s hazardous waste rules require facilities to properly store, label and seal hazardous waste containers. Facilities must also have properly trained staff, as improperly stored hazardous waste can potentially spill and pose a risk to workers and the environment. Proper disposal of hazardous waste is required at a permitted disposal site with the proper permits and notifications made to the EPA.

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