OSHA Compliance

EPA fines firms $140K in 2010 Anchorage hazardous waste case

  Release Date: November 5, 2015
  Chris Klint

Two companies owned by an Alaska Native corporation will pay more than $140,000 in federal fines over claims they illegally handled hazardous Anchorage construction waste in 2010.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced the settlements Wednesday with UIC Roofing and UIC Construction. The claims involve reported violations of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which requires that hazardous waste be transported with EPA approval to EPA-approved facilities.

Both companies are subsidiaries of UIC Construction Services, an arm of the Barrow-based Ukpeaġvik Iñupiat Corp. Neither of the firms admitted or denied the EPA’s allegations. UIC Roofing agreed to pay $59,724, and UIC Construction agreed to pay $80,456.

According to the EPA’s consent decrees with the companies, the offenses date back to October 2010, when UIC Roofing was doing business as Rain Proof Roofing. The company generated waste at a South Anchorage facility on East 84th Court, off Lake Otis Parkway.

On Oct. 19 of that year, the EPA said, Rain Proof Roofing took “twelve 55-gallon metal drums and one cubic-yard box” of waste, weighing more than 2,200 pounds, to a UIC Construction facility not approved to store it on West 87th Avenue, off King Street near Dimond Boulevard. The paint-related materials, containing arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium and lead, remained flammable.

“Specifically, UIC Roofing failed to: obtain generator and transporter identification numbers prior to transporting hazardous waste, prepare a hazardous waste manifest, and dispose of the waste at a RCRA permitted facility,” EPA officials wrote. “UIC Construction stored the hazardous waste without a RCRA permit until April 1, 2011, when the waste was shipped to an approved RCRA disposal facility.”

EPA spokesperson Suzanne Skadowski said the case stemmed from the improper transport and storage of the waste, with no indication the materials had been spilled or dumped.

“We didn’t find any environmental harm,” Skadowski said. “We didn’t find that they had contaminated anything -- the problem was that they didn’t do this correctly and safely.”

Skadowski said the EPA’s suspicions were aroused when one of the firms involved suddenly approached the agency to seek a storage permit under the RCRA.

“We became aware of this because UIC Construction requested a generator ID,” Skadowski said. “That came to us a little out of the blue because we didn’t recognize the company as an RCRA operator, and that started our investigation.”

In an online response to the settlement, UIC officials described Rain Proof Roofing as “a closed subsidiary” of the corporation. It emphasized the materials involved in the 2010 incident were ultimately disposed of in a proper manner.

“UIC worked alongside EPA to remedy this situation in a fair and justifiable manner,” company officials wrote. “No injury to the environment, workers, or the public occurred.”

Source: Alaska Dispatch News