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EPA CITES ARMY FOR HAZARDOUS WASTE VIOLATIONS AT WALTER REED MEDICAL CENTER IN DC

Release Date: 10/16/1998
Contact Information: Ruth Podems (215) 814-5540

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has cited the U.S. Army for alleged hazardous waste violations at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, 6800 Georgia Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.  The agency’s September 30 complaint proposes a $201,600 penalty.

None of the violations pose a health risk to the patients or employees at the medical center.

The alleged violations were found in joint inspections by EPA and District officials in 1996 and earlier this year.  Inspectors found that hazardous waste containers were improperly labeled and sealed, and the facility did not have a permit to store hazardous waste.  The hazardous wastes included mercury, chloroform, acetonitrile, trichloroacetic acid, phenol, methanol, xylene, acetone, ethyl acetate and photo fixer waste.

In their February 1998 visit, inspectors saw a 30-liter container of waste acetone that had been shipped to Walter Reed from Bangkok, Thailand.  The complaint alleges that the Army did not have a required storage permit for this waste, and did not notify EPA before receiving it, as required when waste is shipped from a foreign country.

EPA has ordered the Army to immediately cease storing hazardous waste at Walter Reed except in conformance with requirements.  The Army may request a hearing to contest the violations and the EPA’s proposed penalty.


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