U.S. EPA Fines U.S. Pipe Company for Hazardous Waste Violations
“Baghouse dust” improperly managed, posed threat to worker safety
SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has fined the Union City, Calif.-based United States Pipe and Foundry Company (U.S. Pipe) $158,000 for improperly managing “baghouse dust,” a hazardous waste containing cadmium and lead generated from iron pipe fabrication, under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).
EPA discovered in an August 2011 inspection that U.S. Pipe had failed to contain the dust, which was found on the ground of the facility. The facility cleaned up the spilled dust and soil where the dust was found, and conducted subsequent sampling to ensure all contamination was removed.
“EPA is committed to ensuring hazardous waste is properly managed,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Preventing the release of this dust is critical to protect U.S. Pipe workers and the environment.”
Following EPA’s findings, U.S. Pipe modified its operational practices to minimize the potential for future releases and improved staff training in proper dust management.
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act authorizes EPA to oversee the generation, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste. Under RCRA, hazardous waste must be stored in closed and labeled containers.
For more information on the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, visit: http://www.epa.gov/lawsregs/laws/rcra.html.