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EPA fines University of Guam $10,000 for hazardous waste violations

Release Date: 03/04/2008
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov

(03/04/08) HONOLULU – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today fined the University of Guam $10,000 for hazardous waste and other waste management violations at its facility located at University of Guam Station in Mangilao, Guam.

Like many school campuses, the university’s facility generates and stores hazardous waste such as waste varnish and flammable paint waste. The facility also generates and stores used oil and other wastes including spent lead acid batteries and fluorescent lamps.

“All facilities that generate hazardous waste must properly contain, manage, and dispose of their wastes,” said Nancy Lindsay, director for Waste Programs of the EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. “Failure to do so jeopardizes the safety of the community, workers, and the environment, as spilled waste can contaminate soil and ocean ecosystems. This settlement sends a message that noncompliance is not acceptable.”

The university also failed to:

* have a contingency plan to respond to used oil and other waste spills, and maintain emergency equipment;

* properly identify its hazardous waste, store hazardous waste in proper containers without visible leaks, and prevent the possibility of hazardous waste spills;

* clearly mark or label containers of universal waste; and

* manage waste fluorescent lamps and account for how long the waste had been accumulated.

The waste has since been shipped for disposal to a proper hazardous waste disposal facility as required by the EPA’s hazardous waste regulations.

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.

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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