Suzanne Murray in The Wall Street Journal: EPA Targets Small Cos Over Hazardous Waste

10/15/2015

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is fining small companies for improper classification, recording or reporting of hazardous waste, through analyzing data those companies are providing to waste-disposal companies. The EPA is “looking at data mining, at new monitoring techniques…to help target and enforce,” the rules, said Suzanne Murray, a partner at Haynes and Boone who wrote a client memo on this area of regulation. “It’s probably going to catch other folks; the net will be wider,” she said. “Folks who were not traditionally concerned about this probably should become educated about what they have at their operations.”

The EPA has found many of these companies are either incorrectly classifying themselves and don’t really understand the quantities of hazardous waste they are generating or they are not really reporting themselves at all, said Ms. Murray. In the worst-case scenario, this can result in a disaster like the explosion at a Texas fertilizer storage facility that killed 15 people and injured 200 others, she said. “The local emergency response people didn’t know the facility was even there, or what was stored,” she said.

Excerpted from the Wall Street Journal Risk & Compliance Journal. To view the full article, click here (subscription required). 

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