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EPA Region 7 Orders Cedar Valley Electroplating in Cedar Falls, Iowa, to Take Immediate Action to Address Hazardous Wastes

Release Date: 03/09/2012
Contact Information: Chris Whitley, 913-551-7394, whitley.christopher@epa.gov

Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Kansas City, Kan., March 9, 2012) - EPA Region 7 is ordering Cedar Valley Electroplating L.L.C., a metal electroplating business, to take a series of immediate actions to address multiple issues with leaking tanks and containers of hazardous waste at its facility in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Under a unilateral administrative order issued by EPA in Kansas City, Kan., Cedar Valley Electroplating – and R Squared Properties, L.L.C., which owns the property at 5611 Westminster Drive in Cedar Falls where the business is located – are ordered to:

  • Immediately comply with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and its implementing regulations.
  • Immediately identify and contain any leaking tanks, containers or other vessels on the property.
  • Identify all solid and hazardous wastes currently being treated, stored or disposed at the facility.
  • Restrict access to solid and hazardous wastes that have been stored and/or disposed at the facility and to areas on the property where hazardous material has been released.
  • Develop a plan for the immediate cleanup of releases, an investigation to determine if wastes have migrated off the property, and the cleanup of the building and any surrounding areas that may have been contaminated by the releases.
Cedar Valley Electroplating is located in an industrial park area of southwest Cedar Falls, approximately 700 feet southeast of a child care facility, approximately 1,000 feet east of a stream, and approximately 1,300 feet east and southwest of the nearest residences.

EPA’s order notes that the business, which ceased operating in 2011, was inspected by EPA representatives in September 2005 and again in September 2010. The 2005 inspection resulted in the business being cited for failure to make a hazardous waste determination on 28 55-gallon containers of waste material. The 2010 inspection cited those same issues, and issues with additional containers.

EPA representatives visited the facility again last week and noted numerous totes, tanks, drums and other containers and materials stored in an unsafe manner throughout the facility, including numerous containers that were open and several that were leaking. Some of the hazardous wastes identified during the limited visit included chromium, ferric sulfate, ferric chloride, sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, sodium hypochlorite and sodium hydroxide. During the visit, an EPA representative noted that the containers of chemicals cited in the 2005 and 2010 inspections were still present at the facility, but that some of the containers had since deteriorated to the point of leaking their contents.

Violations of EPA’s order could subject the respondents to civil penalties of at least $7,500 per violation per day. Violations could also trigger unilateral actions by EPA to carry out the terms of the order, under its legal authority. The Agency could also seek judicial enforcement of the order.

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