HONOLULU (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Dec. 20 that it has assessed Western Solutions Inc. a $25,000 fine for violating a chemical cleanup order issued by the agency in 2010.
Weston oversaw the Chem-Wood wood treatment facility in the Kapolei area of Oahu, Hawaii, until it sold the property in 2010. Chemwood allegedly pressure treated wood between 1975 and 1988, using hazardous chemicals. These chemicals, which included chromium, arsenic and mineral spirits, purportedly leaked into the soil and impacted groundwater.
The EPA first took action in 1988 and, since then, has managed site cleanup activities. The EPA notes that Weston retains responsibility for carrying out cleanup requirements despite selling the property.
Part of the cleanup requirements involve maintaining the asphalt-concrete cap that creates a barrier from contaminated soil. The EPA argues Weston violated this aspect of the cleanup rules when it failed to notify the agency after learning the current property owner partially removed the cap.
"Our order requires Weston to maintain the integrity of the protective cap covering this hazardous waste site,” said Jeff Scott, director of the Land Division for U.S. EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. “This penalty sends a clear message that EPA takes these requirements seriously.”