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EPA reaches settlement with Oeser Company, Bellingham wood treater

Release Date: 07/24/2007
Contact Information: Cheryl Williams, EPA/Seattle, 206-553-2137, Williams.cherylb@epa.gov; Mark MacIntyre, EPA/Seattle, 206-553-7302, macintyre.mark@epa.gov

(Seattle, Washington - July 24, 2007) The Oeser Company, of Bellingham, Washington, has reached a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over alleged violations of the financial assurance requirements of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). As part of the settlement the company has agreed to fully comply with an existing consent order and pay a $7,880 penalty.

The Oeser Company is a wood-treating company that generates hazardous wastes and has been operating under a 2005 consent order with EPA. Under the consent order, the company agreed to establish and maintain financial assurance for the future closure of its drip pads. EPA alleged the company had failed to comply with all of its obligations under the consent order.

According to Mike Bussell, director of EPA’s regional Compliance & Enforcement office in Seattle, ensuring that facilities meet their financial assurance obligations is a national priority for EPA.

“Without adequate financial assurance in place, taxpayers can and will foot the bill for costly closure cleanups,” said Bussell. “RCRA requires adequate financial assurance to act as a ‘backstop’ for cleanup cost coverage. To operate businesses like the Oeser Company lawfully and responsibly, owners need to have the financial tools in place for a safe and protective final plant closure.”

RCRA regulates the generation, transportation, treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous wastes and established a national framework for the management of non-hazardous waste.

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For more about RCRA and financial assurance requirements, go to “RCRA Online”:
http://www.epa.gov/rcraonline/

For more about RCRA history: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/civil/rcra/rcraenfstatreq.html

For more about the Oeser Company and Clean up:
http://yosemite.epa.gov/R10/CLEANUP.NSF/webpage/Oeser+Company
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