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Roberts Automatic Products to pay MPCA Civil penalty.

Roberts Automatic Products, Inc., in Chanhassen, Minn., has agreed to pay the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (Minnesota PCA) an $8,920 civil penalty and perform a supplemental environmental project costing at least $279,000 to settle alleged hazardous waste violations. The enforcement action follows inspections by Carver County Environmental Services staff in July 2008 and February 2009 and a January 2010 inspection by Carver County and Minnesota PCA staff, agency spokesman Sam Brungardt reported. Roberts Automatic Products makes machined products at 88 E. Lake Drive, and is a large-quantity generator of hazardous waste, Brungardt said. The supplemental project involves purchasing and installing of a vacuum degreasing unit that uses hydrocarbons instead of ethylene chloride to clean parts. That will eliminate generation of methylene chloride hazardous waste still bottoms and decrease employee exposure to methylene chloride, Brungradt reported.

The company uses methylene chloride, mineral spirits and water in its degreasing-of-parts and cleaning operations. The company recycles, reclaims and distills used methylene chloride and mineral spirits, and filters its mop water, leaving residues known as "still bottoms."

Minnesota PCA rules mandate that these still bottoms be tested within 60 days of generation to determine if they are hazardous wastes and if so, that they be handled appropriately. The agency reported that on July 23, 2008, Carver County inspectors found that Roberts Automatic Products was not evaluating its waste mineral spirit still bottoms within 60 days of generation, and that the company was disposing of approximately two gallons per week of the unevaluated waste mineral spirit still bottoms by mixing them with its used oil.

On Feb. 19, 2009, county inspectors allegedly found the company was not evaluating its waste methylene chloride still bottoms within 60 days and that it was adding 45 gallons per week of unevaluated methylene chloride still bottoms, as well as unevaluated mop water still bottoms to its used oil. Subsequent evaluations of the still bottoms determined they are hazardous wastes that may not be mixed with the facility's used oil, but must be managed as hazardous wastes, the agency reported. Inspectors also allegedly documented violations of hazardous waste rules on the accumulation, management, storage and shipping of hazardous wastes from the Chanhassen facility.

The company also has changed how it manages, stores and ships the hazardous wastes. Contact: Sam Brungardt, (651) 757-2249.

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Comment:Roberts Automatic Products to pay MPCA Civil penalty.
Publication:Hazardous Waste Superfund Alert
Geographic Code:1U4MN
Date:Sep 20, 2011
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