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U.S. EPA denies Gila River hazardous waste permit to Romic Environmental: Lack of landowner signature prompts agency to deny permit

Release Date: 12/20/2007
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute (213) 244-1815, cell (213) 798-1404 arcaute.francisco@epa.gov

LOS ANGELES – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is denying a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act permit for Romic Environmental Technologies Corporation – Southwest, in Chandler, Ariz., to continue to treat and store hazardous waste in the Gila River Indian Community area.

The EPA is denying the waste handling and storage permit for Romic Environmental because it lacks the landowner's signature and certification, as required by federal law.

“Now that Romic is ceasing operations, the EPA will ensure proper closure and clean up of any remaining hazardous waste at the facility,” said Nancy Lindsay, acting division director, Waste Management Division, for the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “Our goal is to assist the community in putting this property back into productive reuse."

On June 20, the Gila River Indian Community Council passed a unanimous resolution to not sign the Romic permit application. Romic has submitted its closure plan for this facility. The EPA will solicit public comment on the plan after the agency has reviewed it.

Gila River’s Director of the Department of Environmental Quality Margaret Cook said, “We are pleased that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has responded to the decision made by our Community Council. This decision gives Gila River the assurances that a commitment to environmental protection and human health for our tribal members as well as those businesses that are located within the Community and our neighbors will be respected.”

Located at 6760 West Allison Road, the Gila River waste facility has been in existence since 1975 and Romic purchased the facility in 1988. Hazardous wastes accepted at Romic include various solvents, waste paint and oil, scrap metal, and wastewater.

Romic submitted a final permit application to the EPA in February 2005, requesting a ten year permit to continue to treat and store hazardous waste.

The EPA issued public notice of its proposed decision to deny the application earlier this summer; the agency provided a 45-day public comment period from August 24 through October 9, 2007. Comments were incorporated and the final denial document was completed this week.

For more information on Romic Environmental Technologies Corporation, please visit:
http://www.epa.gov/region09/waste/romic/index.html

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