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NAVY'S PUBLIC WORKS CENTER IN GUAM SETTLES CASE WITH EPA
Release Date: 1/9/2002
Contact Information: Mike Ardito, U.S. EPA, (415) 972-3081, firstname.lastname@example.org
Enforcement Action Provides $42,000 Cash Penalty and $380,000 in Projects
SAN FRANCISCO The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced the U.S. Navy Public Works Center in Guam has agreed to pay $42,000 and perform two environmental projects worth $380,000 for alleged violations of hazardous waste regulations.
Under the settlement, the Navy will spend $136,000 to purchase a rescue truck and an incident command response vehicle. The rescue truck will be outfitted with equipment to support hazardous material spill response team personnel. Both vehicles will be used by naval forces to conduct emergency response activities both on and off-base.
Also part of the settlement, $244,000 will be set aside for an improved hazardous waste minimization system and include training, software and equipment. The money will pay for a computerized hazardous substance management system, new laboratory equipment, a graphite furnace unit with associated support equipment, and two storage lockers.
The Navy's PWC facility in Apra Harbor, Guam was cited for four violations of Guam's hazardous waste regulations. The EPA cited the PWC for failing to comply with the hazardous waste generator requirements, failing to store hazardous waste under a covered structure, failing to make hazardous waste determinations, and failing to amend training and contingency plans.
"The Navy's Guam Public Works Center fully cooperated and responded quickly to EPA's facility inspection," said Jeff Scott, the EPA's Pacific Southwest director for waste management programs. "Furthermore, the environmental projects agreed upon by the facility in this settlement are intended to help protect public health and the environment in Guam."
The PWC primarily manages recyclable and hazardous materials from shops operated by the PWC and naval ships that dock on Guam. The PWC determines which materials can be reused and which must be handled as hazardous waste.
The PWC's new electronic inventory system will be centralized to track the procurement, management (storage, use, reuse or recycling), and eventual disposal of the hazardous materials and containers. Also, the Navy will train workers to implement this system, including stockroom staff, environmental health and safety personnel, PWC tenants and others.
The new equipment for the U.S. Navy Fena Laboratory will improve in-house capabilities for sample analysis to help determine whether a substance is a waste product or may be reused.
The new storage lockers will be used by all PWC operations and tenants for centralizing storage, retrieval, reuse and disposal of the hazardous materials. Under the agreement, the PWC will take steps to discontinue the use of non-centralized lockers.
During the EPA hazardous waste compliance inspection Sept. 5-6, 2000, inspectors found the facility had a backlog of materials to be processed as useable or waste. The facility reported this backlog occurred when it received an unexpected large amount of materials from U.S. Navy ships. The naval fleet would normally have off-loaded its hazardous materials at a facility in the Middle East, but was suddenly called to the western Pacific when East Timor declared independence. This event, coinciding with a change of the contractor managing the PWC facility, caused a delay in processing these materials.
The PWC responded quickly to concerns from the EPA inspectors that these materials were a potential hazard by processing the materials and complying with the hazardous waste generator requirements. The materials that were hazardous wastes included paints, adhesives, paint thinners, insecticides, solvents, batteries, rust removers, coatings, sealants, disinfectant and cleaner wastes.
This environmental enforcement complaint from the EPA and the consent agreement with the Navy's Guam PWC for these alleged violations was signed on Jan. 7, 2002.