US: Polluting Ohio HazWaste Incinerator Fined $750,000

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Justice have reached an agreement with Von Roll America Inc. on alleged clean air and hazardous waste violations at the company's commercial hazardous waste incinerator in East Liverpool, Ohio.

The consent decree resolves a judicial complaint that alleged violations of the Clean Air Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

Von Roll has been ordered to comply with the two laws, pay a penalty of $750,000 and implement a $34,000 environmental project which will enhance environmental protection in and around East Liverpool.

The company also will sponsor a household hazardous waste collection in fall 2007.

The agreement resolves EPA allegations that Von Roll failed to properly operate, monitor and maintain its vapor collection and carbon adsorption systems. It ensures that emissions of benzene and other volatile organic compounds, VOCs, from hazardous waste storage tanks will be reduced.

Benzene is a known human carcinogen. Researchers have determined that exposure to benzene causes acute non-lymophocytic leukemia and other blood-related disorders.

VOCs react with nitrogen oxides to form ground level ozone, or smog, which can cause respiratory problems and permanent lung damage.

This complaint is the latest of several Clean Air Act alleged violations Von Roll has settled with the EPA.

In June 2005 the EPA filed an administrative complaint against Von Roll for releasing five times the dioxin limits allowed during a test and failure to properly route air emissions through an EPA-approved air pollution control device, among other violations. EPA proposed a $643,900 penalty.

In October 2004, the company was assessed a $59,400 penalty for lead and cadmium emissions in excess of the federal standard.

The company says the facility's advanced technology is the first to successfully demonstrate compliance with the EPA's latest clean-air standards, known as the Maximum Achievable Control Technology rule.

Von Roll provides 60,000 tons of incineration capacity annually. The company's employees accept, store and incinerate bulk solids, bulk liquids, drums and containers, and lab packs.

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