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Illegal Disposal of Hazardous Waste in Developed Countries: Electro-Coating

Electro-Coatings of Iowa,Inc., a chrome, nickel, and zinc plating operation, has agreed to pay a $19,171 civil penalty to the United States to settle a series of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) violations in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In addition to paying the civil penalty, the company will spend a minimum of $110,000 to install technology that will reduce the amount of hazardous chrome waste generated at the facility as a supplemental environmental project.

According to an administrative consent agreement and final order filed by EPA Region 7 in Kansas City, Kan., an EPA inspector conducted an inspection at the company’s Cedar Rapids facility in May 2011, and noted several violations of the federal act which regulates hazardous waste.  “Facilities that generate hazardous waste must ensure that the proper procedures are followed in the handling, storage, and management of the waste stream,” EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks said. “Proper management practices reduce the risk of harm to human health and the environment in the event of an accidental release.”

Electro-Coatings of Iowa, Inc., generates a large quantity of hazardous waste, over 1,000 kilograms per month. The violations included storage of hazardous waste for longer than 90 days without a RCRA permit, hazardous waste container management violations, emergency equipment violations, training violations, RCRA contingency plan violations, universal waste management violations, operation of a hazardous waste facility without a RCRA permit, and failing to comply with hazardous waste generator requirements, including failure to label waste containers, failure to date waste containers, and failure to keep waste containers closed.

By agreeing to the settlement with EPA, Electro-Coatings of Iowa, Inc., has certified that it is now in compliance with the RCRA regulations.

Electro-Coatings of Iowa, Inc., to Pay $19,171 Civil Penalty for Hazardous Waste Violations in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, EPA Press Release, July 26,  2012