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Settlement Results in Yale Fine for Hazardous Waste-Related Financial Violation

Release Date: 04/18/2006
Contact Information: EPA Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1000

(Boston, Mass. - Apr. 19, 2006) - Yale University will pay a nearly $18,000 penalty for failing to meet financial assurance requirements of federal and state hazardous waste laws.

Under a settlement reached with EPA, the New Haven-based institution will pay a fine of $17,862. The EPA action is a result of Yale violating the financial assurance requirements of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) by failing to submit updated financial assurance information to the Conn. Dept. of Environmental Protection (CT DEP) for the years 2003 and 2004.

The action is part of a new federal initiative to ensure that companies and institutions that handle hazardous waste have the funds available to properly clean up areas where the hazardous wastes have been treated, stored or disposed of when they stop the hazardous waste activity.

Yale University operates a “greater-than-90-day” storage facility at its Wright Nuclear Structure Laboratory (WNSL), where it stores containers of hazardous waste mixed with radioactive waste. As a facility that stores hazardous waste for greater than 90 days, Yale was required to comply with the requirements applicable to treatment, storage and disposal facilities, including the requirement to maintain financial assurance for closure of the WNSL storage area.

EPA has began a nationwide effort to enforce financial requirements of RCRA after the agency’s Inspector General issued a report indicating that many companies might not be in compliance with laws regarding financial assurance.

Yale has now demonstrated that it is meeting its financial assurance obligations.

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