Nation’s largest hazardous waste treatment
and disposal operator comes to agreement with EPA
Washington, DC— The Justice
Department and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced
a settlement with Clean Harbors Environmental Services that is
expected to enhance calculating and reporting on benzene emissions
from North America’s largest operator of hazardous waste
treatment and disposal facilities.
This settlement involves ten
facilities in eight states. It confirms the proper industry standard
for compliance with the Clean Air Act regulation that limits benzene
emissions from facilities that treat, store, and dispose of hazardous
The affected facilities are located
in Chicago, Illinois; Cincinnati, Ohio; Braintree, Massachusetts;
Bristol, Connecticut; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Plaquemine, Louisiana;
La Porte, Texas; Deer Park, Texas; Kimball, Nebraska; and Aragonite,
The agreement with Clean Harbors
is part of EPA’s efforts to enhance compliance with benzene
regulations among hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal
facilities. Benzene is a hazardous air pollutant and a known carcinogen.
A consent decree, filed in U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, will require
Clean Harbors to properly determine the benzene quantities in
waste shipments received from its customers.
Clean Harbors will not be allowed
to estimate the benzene received by using the middle number in
a range of possible benzene concentrations that a customer supplies.
Instead, Clean Harbors will have
to measure the actual benzene concentration or use the high end
of the range in order to ensure that benzene is not underreported.
Under reporting benzene can result in failing to install pollution
controls on tanks and other equipment that handle benzene.
The states of Illinois and Louisiana
are joining the settlement.