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EPA Signs Consent Agreement and Final Order with Westchester County

Release Date: 06/25/2004
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(#04100) NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has agreed to a settlement of an administrative complaint against Westchester County, New York for violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The settlement requires Westchester County, which owns and runs the Westchester County Department of Laboratories and Research Exit EPA disclaimer, to pay a civil penalty of $11,500 and to spend a minimum of $110,000 to implement a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP).

"While it's better to get it right the first time, we are pleased that Westchester County has recognized its environmental responsibilities and is taking action to correct the violations," said EPA Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny.

A SEP is part of an enforcement settlement connected with the violation of an environmental statutory or regulatory requirement. As part of the enforcement settlement, a violator voluntarily agrees to undertake an environmentally beneficial project in exchange for a reduction in the penalty. Westchester County's SEP will consist of an Environmental Management System (EMS) designed to maintain regulatory compliance, improve environmental performance beyond compliance, prevent pollution, and minimize environmental impacts in non-regulated areas. The EMS will incorporate a chemical tracking/inventory system intended to further reduce chemical usage and disposal. This settlement with Westchester County was reached June 10th. During a July 2001 RCRA compliance evaluation inspection, EPA determined that the of RCRA requirements for hazardous waste generators. In September 2003, EPA issued a civil administrative complaint against the county, alleging failure to determine if wastes it generated were hazardous wastes and failure to properly manage and store hazardous waste. The complaint sought a total penalty of $67, 320.

Westchester County Department of Laboratories and Research is responsible for the county's public health and environmental needs through laboratory analyses, death investigation and professional research. The Medical Examiner's office, Public Health office, Environmental laboratories, Microbiological laboratories, and Forensic and Toxicology office make up the
Westchester County Department of Laboratories and Research.