Veterinary health products company fined for mishandling mercury waste
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., a veterinary health products company, has agreed to pay a $68,475 civil penalty to settle a series of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act violations based on its mishandling of mercury waste in St. Joseph, Mo.
In addition to paying the civil penalty, the company will spend a minimum of $300,000 to build a state-of-the art hazardous waste storage facility at the site as part of a supplemental environmental project.
According to an administrative consent agreement and final order filed by EPA Region 7 in Kansas City, Kan., EPA representatives inspected the company’s St. Joseph facilities in May 2010, and noted several violations of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), which regulates hazardous waste. Boehringer generates mercury as part of its vaccine production process.
“The proper handling and management of hazardous waste is an integral part of protecting human health and the environment,” EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks said. “In the event of an accidental release on site or while in transport, proper labeling, storing, and management practices can help reduce the risk of exposure to hazardous material by response personnel as well as reduce risk to public health by identifying the necessary and proper cleanup methods.”
The violations included failure to perform hazardous waste determinations on multiple waste streams, storing hazardous wastes without a RCRA permit, failing to comply with generator requirements, sending hazardous waste containing mercury to a non-authorized facility, transporting hazardous waste without a hazardous waste transporter license or manifest, failure to comply with universal waste lamp requirements, and failure to comply with recycled used oil management standards.