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EPA settles with J.H. Baxter for hazardous waste violations

Release Date: 10/4/2005
Contact Information: Cheryl Williams
(206) 553-2137

October 4, 2005

Arlington, Washington – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that J.H. Baxter has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $13,259, and spend $64,624 on structural improvements to its facility to settle alleged hazardous waste violations at its wood treating operation in Arlington, Washington.

The alleged violations include improper handling of wood treating wastes, and failure to comply with requirements that apply to facilities that do not have a permit to treat, store, or dispose of hazardous wastes as required under federal and state laws. Waste from the facility’s wood treating process is considered hazardous because it contains the chemical pentachlorophenol, which can cause organ damage at high levels and is suspected to cause cancer.

As part of the settlement, the facility will add a roof over two of its process areas to reduce the amount of storm water getting into the plant that must then be treated as hazardous waste. The improvements are expected to reduce the amount of hazardous waste generated by as much as one ton per year.

“We are pleased the company has agreed to upgrade its waste handling areas as part of the settlement,” said Mike Bussell, director of EPA Region 10’s Office of Compliance and Enforcement. “The result will be a significant reduction in hazardous waste generated by the facility, which improves worker safety and saves landfill space.”

The company is also required to submit closure plans to EPA for four process areas where hazardous wastes have been alleged to have been handled or disposed of on site.

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