EPA inspects hazardous waste generators on Saipan

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Posted on Aug 01 2019

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 9 Enforcement Division inspector Jennifer MacArthur, in partnership with Division of Environmental Qquality-Toxic Waste Management Branch, conducted RCRA Hazardous Waste Compliance Assistance Inspection at nine facilities on Saipan that are hazardous waste generators.

Generators of hazardous waste are subject to different requirements based on the amount of waste generated. The purpose of the hazardous waste compliance inspections was to inspect the facilities storage area of the hazardous waste, review hazardous waste manifest, and go over site contingency plan. At the end of each compliance inspection, a debriefing of summary of findings and necessary corrective actions to be taken for each site were addressed. During this compliance inspection, no facilities were found to have any serious violation. However, the EPA inspector and DEQ noted that some facilities needed to improve on their housekeeping practice on proper management of their hazardous chemical storage area. EPA’s enforcement division conducts inspection of RCRA facility yearly in the CNMI and other insular area in the Pacific. Generators of hazardous waste are encouraged to comply with the storage and disposal requirement of hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

RCRA was passed in 1976 as an amendment to the Solid Waste Disposal Act. The program set three goals: To protect human health and the environment, reduce waste, conserve energy and natural resources and Reduce or eliminate the generation of hazardous waste as expeditiously as possible.

On the same week, EPA Region 9 Enforcement Division Everett Pringle conducted a training for the BECQ-DEQ Safe Drinking Water Program. The training presented on July 22 consisted of Disinfection of Water Storage Facilities and Disinfection of Water Mains. Along with the SDWP staff, Commonwealth Utilities Corp. Water Division staff and Bureau of Environmental Health staff were also present. The purpose of the training was to enhance participant’s knowledge on the disinfection of water storage tanks and what kinds of disinfections methods can be used when installing/repairing pipelines.

On July 23, EPA continued the training covering topics on Enforcement Overview and Enforcement Response Policy. Along with BECQ, CUC, and BEH management, the Attorney General’s Office was also present. The training was intended to familiarize the participants with the enforcement process which EPA implements. Participants also got an in-depth explanation on the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) regulations and policies, as well as the penalties that come along with violations.

The CNMI BECQ appreciates the continued support and assistance from USEPA in providing technical assistance and funding for its programs. (PR)

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