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EPA and Marshall University Reach Settlement for Environmental Violations

Release Date: 9/4/2003
Contact Information: Donna Heron, 215-814-5113

Donna Heron, 215-814-5113

PHILADELPHIA – The mid-Atlantic regional office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a settlement with Marshall University in Huntington, W. Va. over environmental violations found during a multi-media inspection in September 2002.

The university has agreed to pay a penalty of $15,400.

The university violated the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act by owning and/or operating a hazardous waste storage facility without a permit, and failing to properly label containers of used oil.

This action was taken as a result of EPA’s college and university initiative, started in 1999 because many institutions of higher learning were not aware of their responsibilities under various environmental laws or had failed to implement strategies to comply with these laws. In addition to inspections and appropriate enforcement actions, this initiative included free workshops to help colleges and universities comply, and established a web site that provides information about their duties under the law.

During the 2002 inspection, the EPA found that Marshall University was operating a hazardous waste storage facility without a permit. The hazardous waste primarily consisted of spent chemicals produced in the chemistry and biology labs, including formaldehyde, methanol, sulphuric acid, nitric acid and benzene. None of the storage containers was labeled as hazardous waste or had an accumulation start date, as required.

In the university’s maintenance shop, inspectors also found several 30-gallon containers of used oil, but there were no labels identifying the contents. The university also kept no records detailing the transfer of used oil to outside parties.

Marshall University is one of 13 schools inspected to date during EPA’s College and University Initiative. EPA will continue to monitor environmental compliance at other colleges and universities.

EPA’s audit policy is posted at:

For more information on environmental audits and compliance assistance, visit