The U.S. EPA reported that Drew University, Madison, N.J., agreed to pay a $145,000 for failing to properly manage hazardous waste on its campus.
The university further agreed to comply with applicable federal and state laws and regulations governing the management of hazardous waste, EPA said.
In an investigation the EPA found that the university:
- Haphazardly stored dozens of containers of paint, wood stains, enamels and adhesives in a manner that failed to minimize releases to the environment. The containers were being stored outside and on the ground, and some were in close proximity to residential housing and a pond. Many containers were open and could have easily spilled their contents or leaked into the ground.
- Failed to properly identify discarded materials such as mercury, sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid, formic acid, and nitric acid as hazardous wastes.
- Stored hazardous waste without a permit authorizing and regulating such storage.
In 2007, the university self-reported some violations to the EPA and corrected them. Subsequently, however, the university failed to follow through with the EPA’s self-audit policy.
“EPA’s self-audit policy is intended to help institutions recognize violations of federal environmental laws and take action to correct them. We expect institutions that conduct their own audits to maintain compliance with the regulations. Drew’s failure to do so is not consistent with this policy,” said Judith Enck, EPA regional administrator.
More information on EPA’s regulation of hazardous waste: www.epa.gov/region02/waste/csummary.htm.