The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has assessed Weston Solutions, Inc. a $25,000 fine for violating an order issued in 2010, when Weston committed to clean up the former Chem-Wood wood treatment facility located in the Kapolei area of Oahu.
Between 1975 and 1988, Chem-Wood pressure-treated wood using hazardous chemicals containing chromium, arsenic and mineral spirits, some of which were released to the soil and impacted groundwater. EPA first took an enforcement action in 1988 and has overseen site investigations and cleanup activities.
Weston, a Pennsylvania-based environmental cleanup firm, has sold the property since 2010, but retains responsibility for carrying out the cleanup requirements. This includes maintaining the asphalt-concrete cap that provides a protective barrier from contaminated soil on the site. Weston violated the order when it failed to notify and obtain approval from EPA or the Hawaii Department of Health after learning the current property owner, Goodfellow Brothers, Inc., had 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.”
The facility’s cleanup plan requires EPA approval prior to altering the asphalt-concrete cap. Weston was aware that Goodfellow began work in December 2015 to install a concrete pad to support a new above-ground fuel tank, but failed to notify EPA or seek its approval until March 2016. The work involved removal of 776 square feet of the cap and a 360 square-foot layer of clean fill material. Weston and Goodfellow claim that no underlying contaminated soil was disturbed by the project. EPA has since approved the fuel tank installation plan and Weston is now back in compliance with the consent order.
The 2010 EPA order directed the Estate of James Campbell, a former property owner, and Weston to grade the site and consolidate contaminated soil under an asphalt-concrete cap, monitor and treat contaminated groundwater, and it included restrictions prohibiting residential reuse of the property.
For more information on hazardous waste, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/hazard