waste facility agrees to settle alleged hazardous waste violations
In a settlement valued at more than $1.7 million,
Clean Harbors of Braintree, Inc. has agreed to pay a significant
penalty and perform additional projects, to settle a complaint
filed by the Department of Justice on behalf of EPA, regarding
numerous violations of hazardous waste management and emergency
planning laws at the company’s Massachusetts facility.
Under the settlement, Clean Harbors will pay a $650,000 penalty
and will spend $1,062,500 on a Supplemental Environmental Project
(SEP) consisting of planting approximately 1,400 trees in low-income
and historically-disadvantaged environmental justice areas in
the City of Boston. It is expected that Clean Harbors will work
with the City of Boston Parks and Recreation Department to implement
the project over a two-year period.
Clean Harbors also will comply with an enhanced waste analysis
plan that goes beyond what is currently required in its hazardous
waste permit. This plan will help to ensure that the hazardous
waste Clean Harbors receives and generates will be properly characterized
and managed. Further, Clean Harbors has installed and will maintain
a vapor collection system for its tanks that will collect and
treat volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions, which contribute
“This settlement underscores how important it is that companies
and individuals handling and managing hazardous wastes carefully
adhere to the protective requirements EPA and the Massachusetts
Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) have established
for these substances,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator
of EPA’s New England office. “Complying with these standards
helps reduce the possibility of a chemical release that could
put the community and the environment at risk. I am also pleased
that under this settlement a large number of trees will be planted,
which will improve air quality and the quality of life for Boston
EPA identified nearly 30 violations of both the Resource Conservation
and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Emergency Planning and Community
Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA) at a site inspection of the Braintree
Clean Harbors facility that took place in June 2007.
Those violations included inadequate waste characterization,
the failure to properly maintain its hazardous waste tanks, inadequate
secondary containment, and improper storage of incompatible wastes.
At the time of the inspection, many of the company’s hazardous
waste tanks were deteriorating and in poor condition. EPA monitoring
detected releases of VOC emissions from some of the tanks.
In July 2007, EPA issued an administrative order directing Clean
Harbors to immediately address numerous conditions identified
during the inspection that could have posed a danger to human
health or the environment. Clean Harbors came into compliance
soon after the 2007 order. Inspectors from MassDEP participated
in the June 2007 inspection and provided support to EPA during
the settlement process. In a separate consent order, MassDEP
required Clean Harbors to replace all of the old storage tanks,
as well as implement numerous other needed infrastructure upgrades
at the facility. Clean Harbors has purchased and installed new
hazardous waste tanks.
The facility performs hazardous materials management and disposal
services including drummed and bulk waste processing and consolidation,
transformer decommissioning, PCB storage and processing, blending
of waste used as supplemental fuel by cement kilns or industrial
furnaces, and pretreatment of waste to stabilize it before it
is sent to permitted landfills.