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EPA announces Pacific environmental enforcement accomplishments for 2006, Closure of CNMI’s Puerto Rico Dump, hazardous waste related cases highlight year

Release Date: 11/15/2006
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov

(11/15/06) HONOLULU – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s enforcement actions in Guam, American Samoa and CNMI for 2006 brought environmental and public benefits for the state’s residents as polluters committed to more than $14.4 million to correct environmental violations and prevent future pollution.

This year continues the successful efforts in terms of polluters making on-the-ground improvements. 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.

“The agreement to close the Puerto Rico Dump in CNMI and the hazardous waste settlements in Guam and American Samoa will provide island residents continued enjoyment of cleaner air, water and land areas,” said Wayne Nastri, administrator of the EPA’s Pacific Southwest Office. “EPA will continue working to enforce environmental laws and ensure compliance of environmental regulations to improve public health.”

* Puerto Rico Dump Closure, CNMI: An agreement with the CNMI government outlining the closure of the Puerto Rico Dump. The agreement includes a schedule with deadlines for a financing plan, design and construction of final closure, and post-closure monitoring. At various times, inspectors have observed contaminated storm water and leachate ponding at the dump and flowing into Tanapag Lagoon. The dump has been a source of water pollution for over 50 years and the final closure will greatly reduce the dump’s adverse impacts to the surrounding ocean ecosystem.

* Guam Shipyard: A settlement that requires the Guam Shipyard to spend $25,000 to create an environmental management system and pay a fine of $19,534 for storage of hazardous waste without a permit, and for its failure to close hazardous waste containers. The environmental management system will improve on management of hazardous waste by encouraging pollution prevention and requiring regular employee training. The shipyard will also conduct a yearly review and certification of its waste management efforts.

* Guam Waterworks Authority: Fines of $55,000 to the Guam Waterworks Authority for failing to submit a drinking water and wastewater disposal master plan as stipulated in a 2003 consent order.

* Langkilde Service Station, American Samoa: A settlement with Langkilde Service Station for $10,000 for underground storage tank violations at the facility located in Malaloa Village, American Samoa. To date, this is the largest UST fine in the Pacific Islands area.

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

Below are other enforcement highlights for the Pacific Islands:

Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands

* A complaint to determine penalties and enforce compliance against JG Sablan Rock Quarry, Inc. for storing used oil in corroded and leaking drums at its Lower Base facility in Saipan. The company failed to comply with an EPA order issued in May requiring the proper management and disposal of used oil and hazardous waste. The company also violated the EPA’s spill prevention rules by storing used oil in corroded and leaking containers; not marking containers of used oil; and failing to clean up spilled used oil.

* A fine against Pacific Development Inc., located in Saipan, CNMI, for $23,650 for waste storage and disposal violations. Inspections at the company’s auto and bus service shop in June 2003 and March 2004, found improperly stored and labeled containers holding used oil and solvents. PDI also failed to respond and clean up a spill of used oil.

Guam

* An increase in the fine to the Guam Department of Public Works by $5,500 for continuing to miss the deadline to submit plans and a permit application for the island’s new municipal solid waste landfill. In February, the EPA assessed a $2,000 fine and because the Guam DPW did not submit the required plan and permit application, an additional fine was assessed.

* Underground tank inspections in Guam. The EPA and Guam EPA conducted 28 inspections, found 19 violations and issued 5 citations for a total of $2,150 in penalties at facilities such as Guam Waterworks, Shell Oil and Mobil Oil service stations.

* 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.

American Samoa

* Fines to Tri Marine International for $5,000 for the improper disposal of a tuna skiff offshore of Pago Pago Harbor in American Samoa. The company scuttled the tuna skiff without a permit and failed to provide the required notifications.

* A settlement with the American Samoa Port Authority for SPCC issues. The authority has paid the fine of $2,600 and is hard at work on developing an updated comprehensive oil spill prevention and control plan for the commercial harbor and airport.

Please go to http://www.epa.gov/region09/enforcement/results/ for a full description of the EPA’s enforcement cases throughout California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands in 2006. For information on the EPA’s national enforcement summary for 2006, go to: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/data/results/annual/fy2006.html

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