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Perma-Fix Northwest Richland settles with EPA for waste management violations

Release Date: 07/17/2013
Contact Information: Mark MacIntyre, EPA/Seattle 206-553-7302/206-369-7999(cell)

(Seattle – July 17, 2013) Perma-Fix Northwest Richland, Inc. (Perma-Fix), a contract handler of radioactive and mixed (radioactive and hazardous) waste from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Hanford Reservation and other sources, has agreed to improve onsite waste handling practices and pay a $187,620 penalty as part of a settlement announced today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

According to the agreement, Perma-Fix allegedly stored mixed waste in an unpermitted area of their facility for longer than the regulations allow.

“Perma-Fix has agreed to manage their mixed waste more responsibly and according to all regulations,” said Ed Kowalski, director of EPA’s Office of Compliance and Enforcement in Seattle. “When handling these types of waste, there’s simply no way it can be stored in a non-permitted area for three years when the regulations only allow three months.”

Inspections were conducted at Perma-Fix by EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center in 2010, where inspectors examined the facility’s radioactive and hazardous waste storage areas. It was during that inspection that the alleged violations were discovered.

Since the inspection was conducted, Perma-Fix has addressed the violations and improved waste handling operations at the facility.

Perma-Fix now has 30 days to submit a check for $187,620, made payable to the U.S. Treasury.