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N.H. Environmental Consultant Fined for Toxic Waste Mishandling
Release Date: 06/16/2006
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017
(Boston, Mass. – June 16, 2006) - An environmental consulting company based in Portsmouth, N.H., StoneHill Environmental, Inc. may pay an EPA fine of up to $25,800 for a violation of federal regulations regarding handling and disposal of toxic substances.
Under a complaint filed June 5th by EPA’s New England regional office, StoneHill is alleged to have violated regulations in the federal Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) regarding handling of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), a highly toxic compound.
In November 2004, StoneHill was hired to perform environmental response actions at the Rye Quarry on Wentworth Road, in Rye, N.H. Among other things, the N.H. Dept. of Environmental Services (NHDES) had requested the removal of a pile of sandblast grit from the property because the grit contained unacceptable levels of beryllium.
As part of its efforts, StoneHill sampled the grit needing disposal and sent the sample for laboratory analysis. However, before all lab results were received, StoneHill shipped 6.37 tons of the contaminated grit to Aggregate Recycling Corp. (ARC) in Eliot Maine, which had indicated that it could accept the waste based on the metals results alone. ARC mixed the contaminated grit with other material to recycle it into asphalt.
A week after StoneHill shipped the grit to ARC, the remaining laboratory results came back, showing that the sandblast grit contained PCBs at levels of 1000 parts per million. However, contaminated grit had already been made into asphalt and used on ARC’s own property.
NHDES referred the case to EPA in the Fall of 2005 after receiving StoneHill’s Supplemental Site Investigation and Initial Response Action Report, which described how StoneHill had managed the grit.
The EPA Complaint alleges that StoneHill distributed PCBs for use in commerce, which violates existing PCB regulations. The error that led to this violation was the failure to fully characterize the waste before disposal, which is a common error that has been observed by EPA’s New England PCB Coordinators.
More information on the appropriate ways to manage PCBs (epa.gov/region01/enforcement/tsca/index.html#pcb)
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