Hazardous waste is a common by product of day to day operations that fuel your business and bottom line. For almost any type of manufacturing facility, it is inevitable to not create hazardous waste. What you do with the hazardous waste is more important.
Diamond-Vogel Paint Company in Iowa learned a hard lesson. They let 9,625 gallons of waste paint accumulate and were not treating it as a hazardous waste. The EPA fined Diamond-Vogel over $20,000 for Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) violations. For paint companies, if excess paint, thinners and strippers are not used, donated or shipped to a licensed recycling center, the site may be in violation of RCRA.
Learn from Diamond-Vogel’s mistakes. Here Are 5 Ways to Get Fined.
- Not determining what is or isn’t hazwaste
- Not correctly labeling containers with hazwaste
- Not keeping the hazwaste containers closed, with the exception of adding or removing waste
- Not performing weekly inspections of the storage area with hazwaste
- Not including a secondary emergency coordinator in contingency plans. This includes not training them.
Other industries are subject to RCRA regulations regarding hazwaste, including chemical blending manufacturers, steel manufacturers, auto body shops, oil and gas equipment manufacturers and more.
One of our environmental consultants in Shreveport, Louisiana observes hazwaste violations on a constant basis. Many companies don’t realize that they are in violation of hazwaste regulations. One example is that a company was disposing sandblasting metal dust right into the ditch and stormwater. Any type of metal dust needs to be run through dust cyclone filters and any remnants, along with the filters, need to be disposed of as hazwaste. Additionally, this company had no air permit for sandblasting. Another company was disposing of paint filters with hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) as a non-hazardous waste. If you don’t label and dispose of hazwaste properly, chemical reactions can cause small fires (which the environmental consultant has also seen), employees can be exposed to contaminants and the community could be endangered by discharging hazwaste into stormwater or ditches.