U.S. Pollution Control Inc., whose Grassy Mountain landfill in Tooele County was cited by state officials on Monday, has been hit with federal pollution violation allegations that could cost it $1.4 million.
Environmental Protection Agency attorney David J. Janik said the agency filed a complaint last week claiming 57 separate violations took place at the facility. Named in the citation are USPCI, headquartered in Oklahoma City, and its Georgia-based subsidiary in Georgia.The announcement came only a day after state officials said they had filed a cease and desist order against USPCI that alleged the company allowed liquid wastes to go into a landfill that was supposed to handle only solid materia.
USPCI's founder said he was "shocked and dismayed" by the requested fine and insisted that there was no danger to the public or environment.
Janik said the latest action seeks the largest fine ever in EPA's Region 8, which includes Utah.
The complaint alleges that between September 1985 and April 1988, USPCI failed to properly sample and analyze PCB liquids and failed to monitor temperature and pressure of its operations.
PCBs are a now-banned chemical that was once commonly used in electrical transformers. It is believed capable of causing liver disorders.
An EPA spokesman said that among the complaints are allegations of "failure to comply with a number of procedures related to health, safety and qualifications of personnel; and various record-keeping requirements."
Lou Centofanti, founder of USPCI and inventor of the company's processes, said that for the past two days the company has formed an audit group to examine the allegations. "We're trying to gather as much information as we can," he said.
On the liquid waste allegations, he said that USPCI thought at the time the safest and most environmentally acceptable way to solidify liquid material was in the landfill cell itself. The company was building a new facility because of earlier state criticisms, he said.
The EPA complaints involve
record-keeping, he said.
After studying the complaint, he said, the best that he could tell, "we have all the records. They're all there and we notified EPA of all that."
EPA simply didn't get all the rec-ords it wanted, he said. "But they're all there, as far as we can tell."
Centofanti that USPCI did the proper monitoring.