If you have ever wondered why a “disposal fee” is increasingly tacked on to your auto repair bill, all you have to do is look at the enforcement the Environmental Protection Agency is doing against businesses that flout the law and endanger public safety. No longer is the EPA just pursuing large and flagrant violators such as General Electric, but it is now stepping up monitoring of smaller businesses that TDB readers deal with.
The latest such example occurred in Bellevue, Washington, where a Midas Muffler shop has reached a $9,300 settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to resolve alleged, violations of the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) related to the mishandling of PCBs.
The PCB problem was initially discovered by an oil recycling company in Seattle, who received a shipment of 150 gallons of used oil from Midas in Oct. 2007. Midas did not inform the recycler that the used oil contained PCBs. When the recycler tested the oil and found that it was contaminated with PCBs, they notified EPA. The company was forced to dispose all of the used oil as PCB-contaminated fluid.
According to Daniel Duncan, EPA’s regional PCB program coordinator in Seattle, facilities that handle used oil that may contain PCBs need to have proper testing, notification, storage, shipping, and disposal practices and follow their obligations under TSCA. (more…)