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Guam printing facility to pay $12,500 for hazardous waste violations

Release Date: 08/09/2006
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov

(08/09/06) HONOLULU – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently reached a settlement that requires Graphic Center, Inc. to pay a fine of $12,500 for hazardous waste violations at its Maite, Guam facility.

A March 2004 inspection discovered the facility’s silver recovery unit was not in place. Discharge hoses from the film developing unit were taped to a drain hose, allowing a silver-contaminated wastewater to be improperly disposed of in the drain without a permit.

Silver-contaminated wastewater can possibly pollute ocean water and harm marine life. High concentrations of silver are second to mercury in its toxicity to marine invertebrates such as crabs, shrimp, lobster and coral.

“Graphic Center’s illegal disposal of silver-contaminated wastewater is a serious violation of the law,” said Jeff Scott, the EPA’s director for the waste management programs in the Pacific Southwest region. “Improper management of hazardous waste puts employees, the community and the environment at risk. EPA will continue to ensure that companies handling hazardous waste follow proper procedures, and will take appropriate actions when violations are discovered.

Inspectors also discovered rags used to clean up solvents disposed of as regular waste.

Other violations noted include:

* disposal of hazardous waste without a permit,

* improperly labeled containers of hazardous waste, and

* failure to notify the EPA of hazardous waste generation activity.

For more information on U.S. EPA’s hazardous waste program visit http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/osw/hazwaste.htm. For information on Guam EPA's hazardous waste program visit http://www.guamepa.govguam.net/programs/air/hazwaste.html

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