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Revised Settlement with Massachusetts Hazardous Waste Facility Will Benefit Braintree and Boston Citizens

Release Date: 04/11/2012
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – April 11, 2012) – Following public comment received on a proposed settlement to resolve hazardous waste violations by Clean Harbors of Braintree, Inc. of Massachusetts,  EPA and Clean Harbors have entered into a revised settlement.  The revised settlement alters the Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) that was contained in the original settlement, which was agreed to in August, 2011, and provides that Clean Harbors will purchase or ensure the purchase of an aerial platform fire truck for the Town of Braintree, Mass., where the original violations occurred.  In addition, Clean Harbors will ensure the planting of approximately 800 trees in Environmental Justice areas in the City of Boston. The original penalty of $650,000 remains the same as in the original proposed settlement.

Under the revised agreement, Clean Harbors is expected to share the cost of a fire truck with Braintree.  The fire truck is estimated to cost approximately $900,000, of which Clean Harbors will pay at least $450,000. The fire truck will be owned and operated by Braintree, but will also be available for emergency response activity in surrounding South Shore communities. Clean Harbors will also spend at least $612,500 on a project, which will be implemented by the  Boston Parks and Recreation Department, involving the planting of approximately 800 trees in targeted low-income, historically disadvantaged neighborhoods in Boston (such as Dorchester and Roxbury) over a two-year period.

“I am pleased that this revised settlement will provide important public safety benefits to the citizens of Braintree, as well as clean air and other benefits to residents in some Environmental Justice neighborhoods of Boston,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “This action also underscores that companies and individuals handling and managing hazardous waste must carefully follow requirements designed to protect public health and our communities.”

EPA identified nearly 30 violations of both the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA) at a site inspection of the Braintree Clean Harbors facility that took place in June 2007.  Those violations included inadequate waste characterization, the failure to properly maintain its hazardous waste tanks, inadequate secondary containment, and improper storage of incompatible wastes. In July 2007, EPA issued an administrative order directing Clean Harbors to immediately address numerous conditions identified during the inspection that could have posed a danger to human health or the environment.  Clean Harbors came into compliance with the 2007 order soon after it was issued. Under the settlement, Clean Harbors also will comply with an enhanced waste analysis plan that goes beyond what is currently required in its hazardous waste permit.  This plan will help to ensure that the hazardous waste Clean Harbors receives and generates will be properly characterized and managed.  Further, Clean Harbors has installed and will maintain a vapor collection system for its tanks that will collect and treat volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions, which contribute to smog.

The Clean Harbors Braintree facility performs hazardous materials management and disposal services including drummed and bulk waste processing and consolidation, transformer decommissioning, PCB storage and processing, blending of waste used as supplemental fuel by cement kilns or industrial furnaces, and pretreatment of waste to stabilize it before it is sent to permitted landfills.

More Information:

- The revised consent decree, lodged in the U.S. District Court for Massachusetts, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and approval by the federal court.  A copy of the consent decree will be available on the Department of Justice Web site at http://www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html

- EPA Hazardous Waste Enforcement in New England: (www.epa.gov/region1/enforcement/waste/index.html)

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