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U.S.D.A. Facility in Beltsville, Md. Settles Underground Storage Tank and Hazardous Waste Violations

Release Date: 07/02/2009
Contact Information: Donna Heron 215-814-5113 / heron.donna@epa.gov

PHILADELHIA (July 2, 2009) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Beltsville Agricultural Research Service, 10300 Baltimore Ave., Beltsville, Md., has settled alleged violations of underground storage tank (UST) and hazardous waste regulations, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agreed to pay a $65,066 civil penalty to settle alleged violations of federal UST regulations which are designed to prevent, detect, and control fuel leaks from underground storage tanks. EPA cited USDA for failing to conduct release detection every 30 days from November 2007 to February 2008 on nine underground storage tanks at the Beltsville facility, failing to perform annual line leak detection tests from March 2002 to December 2007 on two tanks, and failing to perform annual line tightness tests from March 2007 to November 2007 on two tanks.

EPA also cited USDA for violating the Subtitle C Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the federal law governing the treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous waste. RCRA is designed to protect public health and the environment, and avoid costly cleanups, by requiring the safe, environmentally sound storage and disposal of hazardous waste.

The alleged RCRA violations included operating a facility for the storage, treatment and/or disposal of hazardous waste without a permit, failing to clearly label containers of accumulated hazardous waste, not maintaining records of hazardous waste training for facility personnel and failing to determine if the solid waste generated by the facility was hazardous waste, specifically, used aerosol cans generated from the facility’s machinery shop.

The settlement penalty reflects the USDA’s compliance efforts and its cooperation with EPA in the investigation and resolution of this matter.

As part of the settlement, USDA has neither admitted nor denied liability for the alleged violations, but has certified its compliance with applicable requirements.

For more information about hazardous waste, RCRA and underground storage tanks, visit http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/index.htm and www.epa.gov/swerust1/.