EPA fines Commonwealth Port Authority $32,500 for
hazardous waste violations
The United States Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) recently settled with the Commonwealth Port
Authority for $32,500 for hazardous waste treatment,
handling, storage, and used oil disposal violations
at its Saipan International Airport facility.
In March 2005, an EPA inspector working along with
CNMI Division of Environmental Quality inspectors
found the facility had open containers of hazardous
waste and stored its hazardous waste and used oil
in severely corroded and leaking containers. The
EPA found the facility’s treatment, handling, storage,
and disposal of motor oil, used motor oil, used
oil-based paint, solvents, and other unknown solid
and hazardous waste was an imminent and substantial
endangerment to public health and the environment.
The facility treated, stored and disposed of hazardous
waste without a permit and also failed to:
Notify EPA of its waste activity;
Transfer waste into containers in good condition,
keep containers closed, and conduct weekly inspections;
Determine the type of and minimize releases
of hazardous wastes;
Store used oil in non-leaking containers and
label containers; and
Respond to releases of used oil, and comply
with oil pollution control requirements.
Operations at the airport facility include equipment
maintenance and waste treatment and disposal. The
facility historically accepted and burned solid
and hazardous waste from airlines, law enforcement
agencies, local businesses, and military vessels.