Behlen Manufacturing of Columbus, Nebraska, has agreed to pay the Environmental Protection Agency a fine following an inspection, and said it will also install new equipment at its facility to settle hazardous waste violations, the Omaha World Herald reports.
According to the media outlet, Behlen, an agricultural and industrial product manufacturer, said it will pay the agency $59,996 in administrative civil penalties regarding a number of violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The violations were filed by EPA representatives after they performed a compliance evaluation at the company's Columbus facility in October 2009.
The results of the inspection showed that Behlen had not performed a crucial hazardous waste determination assessment, was operating its hazardous waste storage unit without a permit, and was not in compliance with other broader waste treatment regulations. On top of the penalty fines, the firm was also ordered to pay at least $75,578 to introduce new assets into its facility that will help lower pollution. The new equipment was a part of a separate environmental project.
Although president and CEO Phil Raimondo said he was disappointed that the EPA maintenance inspection resulted in such fines, he did add that he was happy with how well the agency worked with his organization, the media outlet stated.
"We are pleased that they have agreed to allow us to invest in the supplemental environmental project as part of this settlement." Raimondo said. "We strive to continuously improve our performance in environmental compliance and this project will help our efforts."
The new project will entail asset maintenance that will improve the company's hot-dip galvanizing operation, or the process by which molten zinc is used to coat steel, as well as lower the levels of a non hazardous waste stream.
"The innovative environmental project that Behlen will complete will turn wastes into a useful product and is an example of environmental stewardship for similar companies to follow," said EPA Region 7 administrator Karl Brooks.
According to The Associated Press, the EPA expects the company to turn all of its wastes "into a useful product," and once this is accomplished, it will be in compliance with the agency's regulations.
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