Environmental Enforcement Roundup: Heartland Plating Co., Illegal Mining in NY

by | Nov 29, 2010

Environmental Leader’s daily roundup of key environmental enforcement news

Plating Company Ordered to Correct Hazardous Waste Violations

EPA Region 7 has ordered Heartland Plating Co. of Bettendorf, Iowa, and its owners to immediately address a series of issues related to the improper storage and management of hazardous wastes at the metal electroplating facility.

Last month, EPA representatives inspected Heartland Plating’s operations at its facility in Bettendorf, and documented spilled and abandoned materials for which the company’s representatives could not provide complete and accurate hazardous waste determinations.

Based on container labels and information provided by Heartland employees, EPA inspectors were able to determine that the company was storing or treating a number of wastes, including chromium, zinc, cyanide, cobalt, potassium permanganate, sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide and hydrogen peroxide.

A unilateral administrative order issued on Wednesday in Kansas City, Kan., requires Heartland Plating and its owners, Marion Patigler and the Estate of Gerhard Patigler, to take several immediate actions to address violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

The order directs Heartland and Patinger to refrain from removing or relocating materials currently located at the facility until EPA determines the waste is being handled safely; immediately certify compliance with hazardous waste regulations or halt the generation and management of wastes until such certification can be made; identify all solid and hazardous wastes currently being treated, stored or disposed at the facility; and restrict access to areas of the property where solid and hazardous wastes have been stored or disposed, and to areas where hazardous material has been released.

Heartland and Patinger were ordered to formulate a plan for proper management or disposal of all solid and hazardous wastes at the facility in compliance with RCRA regulations, and to conduct an investigation to determine if wastes have migrated off the site. They must also undertake an immediate cleanup of any hazardous releases on the property, as well as a cleanup of the building and any surrounding areas that may be contaminated.

Illegal Mining Operation Fined $100K by New York DEC

Two individuals involved in an illegal mining and landfill operation in Hauppauge face a $100,000 penalty and must remove unauthorized solid waste from the site, according to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Peter A. Scully.

The operation involved the illegal mining of approximately 20,000 cubic yards of sand from property in Hauppauge owned by the New York State Department of Transportation, and the filling of the hole created by the mining with solid waste, Scully said.

“This is a classic example of the type of ‘scoop and fill’ cases that have caught the focused attention of the Long Island Solid Waste Task Force,” Regional Director Scully said.

Perry Stuart, 61, of Smithtown, owner of Exit 55 Construction Corp., and Thomas Datre, 37, of Ronkonkoma, a solid waste hauler under contract with Stuart, violated numerous separate environmental laws while conducting illegal mining and solid waste activities at the site.

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