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Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543
PHILADELPHIA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the City of Philadelphia announced a settlement today of alleged violations of environmental regulations at the Philadelphia House of Corrections.
In a consent agreement with EPA, the City of Philadelphia has agreed to pay a $10,000 penalty and complete a special environmental project to settle an EPA complaint involving the 6,800-inmate prison complex at State Road in Philadelphia.
In March 2002, EPA cited the prison for failing to prepare a plan to prevent and minimize oil spills from the prison’s heating oil storage tanks, which have a total capacity of 101,975 gallons. EPA also cited the prison for improper storage and labeling of hazardous wastes, including solvents and waste paint in the facility’s print shop. These alleged violations were documented in a June 2001 inspection of the prison by EPA and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
“This is a win-win situation because the City of Philadelphia recognized that shortcomings existed within the Philadelphia Prison System and took immediate action to correct them,” said Donald S. Welsh, EPA mid-Atlantic regional administrator.
As part of the settlement, the Philadelphia Prison System neither admitted nor denied liability for these violations, but has certified that it is now in compliance with the cited regulations. The City has also agreed to implement a $57,500 pilot project at the prison, involving the preparation of an environmental management system and employee training to ensure that the facility meets or exceeds all applicable federal, state and local environmental regulations.
The settlement announced today is part of EPA’s ongoing effort to ensure that prisons and jails in the mid-Atlantic region comply with all applicable environmental regulations. EPA has inspected federal and state prisons throughout the region, and taken appropriate enforcement actions when it has discovered environmental violations.
In March 2002, EPA cited the Delaware Department of Corrections for similar violations of oil spill prevention, hazardous waste storage, and CFC regulations at the Smyrna Correctional Facility. In 1999, the District of Columbia paid $53,000 in penalties to EPA and Virginia for violations of federal and state oil spill prevention regulations at D.C.’s Lorton Correctional Facility in Fairfax Co., Va.
For more information about EPA’s efforts to ensure environmental compliance at prisons in the mid-Atlantic region, visit http://www.epa.gov/reg3ecej/compliance_assistance/prisons.htm