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EPA Files Complaint Over Hazardous Waste Violations by City of Lebanon, NH
Release Date: 03/31/04
Contact Information: Contact: Andrew Spejewski, EPA Press Office, (617) 918-1014
For Immediate Release: March 31, 2004; Release # 04-03-09
BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced it has filed an enforcement complaint against the City of Lebanon, N.H. for violations of hazardous waste laws at two City Department of Public Works maintenance garages, the City landfill, and the Lebanon Municipal Airport. The city faces a maximum penalty of $81,456.
EPA inspections in June 2003 uncovered several violations of hazardous waste management regulations, including treatment of hazardous wastes without a permit, failure to determine whether wastes are hazardous, and failure to label wastes as hazardous. These violations increase the risk of exposure of employees and the public to dangerous wastes and the potential for release of such wastes into the environment.
"It's important for all facilities – whether operated by businesses or municipalities – to properly manage hazardous waste," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator for EPA's New England Office. "These violations created unnecessary risk of harm to the city, its residents, and the environment."
The enforcement complaint follows an EPA New England outreach and assistance initiative targeting municipalities. In partnership with the New England Chapter of the American Public Works Association, EPA New England sent letters to town managers, mayors, and department of public works directors of all cities and towns in New England in early 2002 notifying them that public agencies are responsible for complying with the same environmental standards as private companies. EPA New England offered assistance in complying with environmental laws and encouraged municipalities to conduct environmental compliance self-audits and to disclose and correct violations in accordance with EPA's Audit Policy. The Audit Policy provides for the elimination or substantial reduction of penalties for violations that are voluntarily disclosed and corrected. The City of Lebanon did not participate in this program.
More information on EPA New England's municipal compliance assistance efforts can be found at https://www.epa.gov/ne/municipalities/index.html.