In 2-3 pages, please review and do a full study. This assignment will come from chapter 2 on page 2.7. Review the case named “Electroplater Who Claims He Has No Hazardous Waste”. In this study, briefly evaluate the information and your evaluation of the case. In addition, research the Internet and locate an incident that has a related occurrence to this incident. Please discuss and describe the entire case. Be sure to correctly cite all information and in accordance with APA formatting.
Submission Instructions: Please attach the assignment in Word Format. Format your paper consistent with APA guidelines. (Note: Please do not forget to include the author of the case to the references)
2.7 CASE STUDY
Electroplater Who Claims He Has No Hazardous Waste
Many facilities have tried to be clever with the waste determinations, claiming there isn’t really a waste because they still have use for it, or might have a use for it someday.
In one such case, an inspector visited an electroplating company (see Figure 2.5) where the owner was already under investigation for other unrelated behavior. The inspector obtained a search warrant based on employee complaints about poor waste management practices and potential health and safety issues.
Upon arrival, and after waiting for a uniformed officer to serve the search warrant, the inspector entered the facility and found two major issues:
Several hundred containers of electroplating chemicals were scattered throughout a very old and crumbling six story building. The owner insisted that none of the containers were waste. He claimed that they were still good plating solutions, and that they were being saved for later use. Upon testing the containers, it turned out that virtually all of the “good” plating solutions were actually spent to a point where they would be virtually useless in the future. The owner was accumulating these containers in order to avoid the cost of proper disposal.
The facility was still conducting electroplating, with numerous health and safety issues, including a “green fog” of fumes throughout the building from the plating operation. The workers complained of irritating fumes and respiratory problems. In addition, there was a large plating tank divided into two parts by one steel plate, a cyanide solution was contained on one side and an acid bath on the other. Any mixture of the two solutions would have caused a release of deadly cyanide gas.
Figure 2.5: Electroplater who claimed to have no hazardous waste.
The inspector immediately contacted the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), who immediately shut down the facility due to the imminent hazard associated with the tank containing acid and cyanide.
The owner claimed none of the containers contained waste. He stated that all of the containers contained valuable and useable plating solutions that he planned to use in the future. The sheer quantity of “product” was staggering, with hundreds of containers, some in very poor condition, scattered all over the six-story building.
To deal with the “product” that was actually waste, the federal government called the practice speculative accumulation and declared the entire property a hazardous waste cleanup site. The USEPA spent over $2 million securing the site and removing the containers. The building was demolished after the cleanup because it was deemed to be structurally unsound.
The case studies above give a few examples of the issues associated with the identification of hazardous waste. The hazardous waste regulations can be interpreted in many different ways, and the safest determination is one agreed to by the USEPA and the home state regulatory agency staff. Any company that makes an independent waste identification or relies on a waste broker or vendor is taking a risk that may cause problems and possible additional costs.
Hazardous Waste Management: An Introduction
By Clifton VanGuilder (2012)
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