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Environmental Enforcement Roundup: College Works Painting, MM&A Railway, Grimmel

Here’s a roundup of the latest environmental enforcement stories:

College Works Painting, a company operating in Oregon, has agreed to pay a $32,508 penalty for alleged violations of the federal pre-renovation rule.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency alleged that the company – based in Irvine, Calif., – violated the federal pre-renovation rule while renovating nine properties in Portland, McMinnville, and Hillsboro, Ore.

The rule requires contractors involved in remodeling or renovation of pre-1978 housing to provide homeowners and occupants with an EPA lead hazard information pamphlet.

When lead paint is disturbed during renovations – by sanding or demolition – it can release toxic lead into the air. In 1978 lead was banned from paint used for housing.

The violations alleged in this case took place during renovation work done in 2008. College Works failed to establish and maintain records necessary to demonstrate compliance with Toxic Substances Control Act regulations, according to the EPA. College Works has corrected the violations and is now in compliance with the Pre-Renovation Education Rule.

Maine-based Montreal Maine & Atlantic Railway has agreed to pay $30,000 to settle EPA claims that it violated the Clean Water Act and federal regulations designed to prevent oil spills from reaching waterways.

The railroad – headquartered in Bangor, Maine, – operates a locomotive repair and maintenance facility in Milo, Maine, which has a total storage capacity of almost 108,000 gallons of oil.

According to the EPA, on Oct. 2, 2009, a railway employee left a fuel transfer unattended in the Milo facility’s boiler room. The facility’s secondary containment failed to prevent fuel oil from spilling onto the boiler room’s grated floor. The fuel oil travelled underground and eventually reached the Piscataquis River.

The EPA’s complaint alleged that the railroad had violated the Clean Water Act by discharging the oil into the river and for failing to maintain a spill prevention, control and countermeasure plan.

Discharges of polluted stormwater and other pollutant discharges have prompted the EPA to issue an enforcement order to Grimmel Industries, a scrap metal recycler located on the banks of the Piscataqua River in Portsmouth, N.H.

Monitoring by Grimmel’s landlord Pease Development Authority shows the stormwater discharges from Grimmel’s metal scrap yard operations contain metals, suspended solids and organic compounds that exceed permitted levels. This in violation of the Clean Water Act, the EPA says.

In violation of permits, Grimmel’s did not follow correct sampling or inspection procedure of its stormwater and did not correct faults in its stormwater plan to meet agreed pollutant levels.

The EPA order requires Grimmel to terminate its unpermitted discharge, begin sampling its stormwater discharges, and develop and implement a plan to reduce contaminant levels in its stormwater discharge.

Picture credit: Bree Bailey

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