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Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities resolves hazardous waste violations stemming from highway paint

Release Date: 07/30/2014
Contact Information: Hanady Kader, EPA Public Affairs, 206-553-0454, kader.hanady@epa.gov

(Seattle—July 30, 2014) The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities has agreed to resolve hazardous waste violations identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The violations stem from the improper management of highway paint in Soldotna, Alaska, according to an agreement with EPA.

In 2009, ADOT&PF employees failed to identify that a 250-gallon batch of unusable yellow highway paint was a hazardous waste. The employees placed the paint in a shallow pit lined with plastic where it remained for over a year to let it solidify in the open air. The paint solids were later disposed in a landfill.

Highway paint in liquid form contains chemicals such as solvents, which may release fumes and pose a health risk to anyone nearby.

"Highway paint contains chemicals that can be a danger to people and the environment if mismanaged, especially when you’re working with large quantities," said Scott Downey, Manager of the Hazardous Waste Compliance Unit at the EPA Seattle office. "Facilities can prevent risk to the environment and communities by recognizing when a waste is hazardous and managing it accordingly."

EPA also contends that ADOT&PF failed to label a used oil tank and 55-gallon drums containing hazardous waste.

ADOT&PF has agreed to pay a penalty of nearly $118,000 and to comply with hazardous waste requirements under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

For more information on EPA hazardous waste laws, visit: http://www.epa.gov/osw/laws-regs/rcraguidance.htm