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Environmental Violations Found at Virginia’s Greensville Correctional Center - Action is part of an EPA initiative at prisons

Release Date: 10/29/2003
Contact Information: Donna Heron, 215-814-5113

Donna Heron, 215-814-5113

PHILADELPHIA – In two administrative complaints filed Sept. 30, 2003, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has cited the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) for violations of hazardous waste storage and oil spill prevention regulations discovered during a May 2003, inspection of the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt, Va..

The Greensville prison, with more than 3,000 inmates, is the largest of the 30 state prisons in Virginia. This facility contains a large furniture-making shop that generates significant quantities of hazardous waste. As part of this manufacturing process, furniture is finished using a variety of stains, sealers and top coats. Much of the finishing material becomes a hazardous waste if it is discarded, because of the solvent content in the material and/or its low flash point.

Although the facility originally notified EPA that it was a small-quantity generator of hazardous waste, at the time of the EPA inspection the facility was generating in excess of 1,000 kilograms per month of hazardous wastes. This amount qualifies it as a large-quantity generator of hazardous waste and subjecting it to more stringent regulations.

EPA’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) complaint alleges that among other things several drums in the furniture shop that contained hazardous waste were not properly labeled, closed or dated with an accumulation start date, as required by the act; hazardous waste manifests were not properly retained by the facility and were not available during the inspection; facility personnel engaged in managing hazardous waste and filling out hazardous waste manifests had not received the required hazardous waste training; and the RCRA contingency plan was not consistent with the law’s requirements.

EPA's Spill Prevention, Containment and Countermeasure (SPCC) complaint alleges that the facility had not prepared an SPCC plan, as required by the Clean Water Act. The spill plan is required to prevent or minimize discharges of oil in harmful quantities into waterways. The facility’s total aboveground storage capacity is 16,500 gallons, and the facility’s total tank capacity is 42,500 gallons. It is located about 500 yards from the Nottoway River.

EPA's complaints proposes a total of $75,925. penalties for these alleged violations. VADOC has the right to a hearing to contest the alleged violations and proposed penalty.

This is the seventh multi-media inspection and enforcement action of a prison in the mid-Atlantic Region. The seven prisons have been assessed an average penalty of about $100,000, and they all have been found to be in violation of both RCRA-C hazardous waste regulations and SPCC oil spill prevention regulations. The cases are part of EPA's compliance assistance and enforcement initiative involving mid-Atlantic correctional facilities.

For more information on EPA's prison initiative,

For more information on hazardous waste requirements, visit:

For more information on spill prevention, go to: