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National Guard Fined for Paint Waste

Friday, October 19, 2012

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The Maryland Air National Guard, 175th Wing, has agreed to pay a $75,000 penalty to settle federal claims that it improperly disposed of toxic paint, sealant and other hazardous wastes at the base in Baltimore.

 U.S. Air Force photo / Master Sgt. Ed Bard

 U.S. Air Force photo / Master Sgt. Ed Bard

Col. Scott L. Kelly, commander of the 175th Wing Maryland Air National Guard, administers the enlistment oath to new enlistee Zachary A. Zarbos. Kelly said the unit would work to minimize the environmental hazards of aircraft maintenance.

The base also unlawfully stored hazardous waste on the site without required permits, failed for three years to train employees in handling the waste, and violated federal rules on waste labeling and recordkeeping, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Hazardous Waste Violations

In a consent agreement released Thursday (Oct. 18), the EPA cited MDANG for violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the federal law governing the treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste.

The consent agreement resolves alleged violations discovered in an April 2011 inspection of the Air National Guard facility. Those allegations include storing the toxic waste on site for more than 90 days without RCRA permits.

The wastes included paints, sealants, lubricants, cleaning solutions and adhesives, some of which contained chromium, methyl ethyl ketone or other compounds.

Under the settlement, the unit admits no wrongdoing but certifies its current compliance with RCRA.

Base Response: ‘Good Stewards’

In a commentary posted to the 175th Wing’s website after the settlement was announced, Brig. Gen. Scott Kelly said the unit was “committed to being good stewards of the environment we share.”

Kelly, who commands the unit, noted that maintenance of the C-27J and A-10 aircraft, corrosion control procedures, aerospace ground equipment, vehicle maintenance and other facility maintenance all presented increased environmental risks.

However, he said the unit would “minimize environmental pollution and waste” and “build environmental concerns into all policies, programs, and missions.”

“Here at Warfield Air National Guard Base, protecting the environment is a top priority and will be a major consideration in decision-making,” Kelly wrote. “Each and every Airman is dedicated to continued improvement of our processes to prevent and reduce waste generation.”

   

Tagged categories: Hazardous waste; Maintenance coating work; Paint disposal; Sealers; Toxicity; U.S. Air Force

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (10/22/2012, 11:50 AM)

Eh, it's a paperwork violation. No emissions or exposures are alleged. It would be even less of a concern if MD had adopted the federal "Universal Waste" rule for paint.


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