The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has formalized a settlement with paint company, T.C. Dunham of Yonkers, New York, concerning the company’s violations of federal laws pertaining to hazard waste and toxic materials. Inspectors from the EPA discovered T.C. Dunham was responsible improperly stored and labeled hazardous materials. As a result of the agreement, the paint company will need to comply with all hazardous waste requirements and pay a fine of ninety thousand dollars.
During a routine inspection, EPA inspectors discovered an excess of one hundred metal drums of oil-based paint, lacquers, and paint solvents that were corroded and leaking. Many of the containers were unlabeled and undocumented and were found in outdoor locations beyond the immediate business area. The condition of the storage containers posed a significant environmental and human health threat and were well beyond the acceptable standard set by federal regulation.
Federal toxic and hazardous waste law requires that designated chemicals be stored in an established manner to ensure the public’s health and to minimize damage to the environment. Facilities that store, handle, or dispose of hazardous waste are required to train staff about the dangers of toxic materials and how to properly manage them to reduce danger. It’s also essential that staff be able to identify which substances are considered hazardous and know of the approved ways for waste disposal. In addition, hazardous materials such as paint and paint solvents can contribute to an increased risk for fire or explosion – possibly endangering the lives of emergency service responders as well as unknowing nearby residents and businesses.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Most businesses, and homes, have some degree of hazardous chemicals: paints and solvents, pesticides, motor oil are common. To ensure your safety, make sure you store these in a location that complies with the directions provided on the label. However, if your business deals in much larger quantities, it’s imperative that you stay up to date with your state and federal regulations for handling, storage, and disposal. Failure to do so not only places your employees and community at risk, but can also cost you “green” in big fines and penalties!