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Idaho hazardous waste disposal site failed to disclose chemical releases

Release Date: 03/22/2012
Contact Information: Hanady Kader, EPA Public Affairs, 206-553-0454, kader.hanady@epa.gov Graham Kirn, EPA Toxics Release Inventory Program, 206-553-1603, kirn.graham@epa.gov

“Companies that handle toxic chemicals have a responsibility to be transparent about what they use and release into the environment,” said Kelly Huynh, manager of the Inspection and Enforcement Management Unit at EPA in Seattle. “Accurate, timely numbers from companies are critical for communities to have up-to-date information on chemical releases in their states.”

US Ecology Idaho, Inc. failed to report the on-site disposal of 20 chemicals and chemical categories during 2009.

As part of its hazardous waste disposal operations, the company disposed of more than 10,000 pounds each of aluminum, arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, copper and copper compounds, diethanolamine, ethylene glycol, manganese, methyl isobutyl ketone, nickel, nitric acid, selenium, silver, thallium and zinc.

In addition, the company disposed of more than 100 pounds of lead and lead compounds and more than 10 pounds each of mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls.

Many of the chemicals disposed of at the facility have dangerous human health impacts and risks associated with them.

The company has submitted the required reports to the EPA and the State of Idaho to resolve the violations and agreed to pay a penalty of $184,400.

Under the federal Toxics Release Inventory Program, companies that use certain toxic chemicals are required to report annually about releases, transfers and waste management activities involving toxic chemicals at their facilities.

The Toxics Release Inventory Program falls under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, which aims to inform communities and citizens of chemical hazards in their neighborhoods.

For more information on the Toxics Release Inventory Program, visit: http://www.epa.gov/tri