June 26, 2008

ADEM Cites Violations at Depot

By Andy Johns, The Anniston Star, Ala.

Jun. 26--A state agency has 30 days to decide what kind of penalties to slap on the Anniston Army Depot for environmental violations committed in 2007.

The Alabama Department of Environmental Management published a legal advertisement Wednesday listing 12 violations involving the depot and 17 requirements it must meet. The proposed penalty also includes a $185,174 fine.

The listed violations include disposal of hazardous waste at a facility without proper permits and the disposal of hazardous waste that fails to meet disposal restrictions.

ADEM spokesman Scott Hughes said none of the violations involve the chemical weapons incinerator, but sand from sandblasting, flash powder and a filter cake from the water treatment plant.

Depot Public Affairs Officer Joan Gustafson said the substances never posed a danger to the public or depot employees.

Hughes said some of the violations were self-reported and some were documented during inspections in September and December of 2007.

Hughes asked community members to send comments to ADEM by July 25 about the proposed penalties, saying the agency would evaluate the comments before it issued a final punishment.

Gustafson said the depot would comply with all of ADEM's requirements and the depot "regrets any violation of environmental regulations."

The problems listed in the violations were immediately corrected and the improper handling of the filter cake occurred because the staff did not believe it was hazardous, according to Gustafson.

Hughes said a hazardous material had entered the water system, making the filter a hazard.


--Failure to minimize the possibility of a release of hazardous waste.

--Failure to prepare a hazardous waste manifest for hazardous waste generated on-site.

--Disposal of hazardous waste that fails to meet land disposal restrictions.

--Failure to determine if hazardous waste must be treated prior to disposal.

--Disposal of hazardous waste at a facility without a proper permit.

--Failure to perform an adequate waste determination on waste.

--Failure to send a written notice to the disposal facility that the hazardous waste generated meets treatment standards.

--Failure to give hazardous waste only to proper facilities and/or transporters.

--Failure to properly label a container of hazardous waste.

--Failure to document certain weekly inspections.

About Andy Johns Andy Johns is the mobile reporter for The Star. He is a graduate of Berry College in Rome, Ga.


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