The EPA’s Kevin Snowden oversees hazardous waste issues for the region that includes Iowa, and says an inspection in March of 2012 found the company failed to determine if nearly 10,000 gallons of waste paint material was hazardous.
“That was one violation we observed. There were other violations of having open and unlabeled containers of hazardous waste,” Snowden says. He says the company also failed to properly keep an eye on and manage the waste material.
“The facility failed to conduct weekly inspections of its hazardous waste storage areas, and the facility had failed to identify its secondary emergency coordinator in its hazardous waste contingency plan,” according to Snowden.
The company reached a settlement that includes a penalty. “Our compliance order requires Diamond-Vogel Paint Company to pay a civil penalty to the United States in the amount of $21,700,” Snowden says. “In addition, Diamond-Vogel’s going to provide us with some photographic evidence that their storage containers are being kept closed and that they are also labeled.”
He says there were no injuries or problems to employees caused by the improper storage of the materials. “The containers that were observed during the inspection were in good shape. No one that we know of has come into any contact with any hazardous waste — during our inspection — or that we know of,” Snowden says. Snowden says the company has taken care of the material that led to the violation.
“The 10,000 gallons of materials that they conducted the waste determination on — they have been shipped off site and managed properly,” Snowden says. The company is also required to submit an updated contingency plan for handling waste material. They must also provide the EPA three months of documentation demonstrating that it properly performed weekly inspections of the hazardous waste storage area.
Snowden says companies in Iowa with questions about how to properly handle hazardous waste can contact the EPA’s regional office.