ATTORNEY GENERAL J.B. VAN HOLLEN ANNOUNCES JUDGMENT REQUIRING OCONTO COUNTY BODY SHOP OPERATORS TO PAY FORFEITURES FOR OPEN BURNING AND HAZARDOUS WASTE VIOLATIONS

Dec 11 2014
ATTORNEY GENERAL J.B. VAN HOLLEN ANNOUNCES JUDGMENT REQUIRING OCONTO COUNTY BODY SHOP OPERATORS TO PAY FORFEITURES FOR OPEN BURNING AND HAZARDOUS WASTE VIOLATIONS

 

MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced that his office has obtained a judgment requiring Oconto County body shop operators Timothy and Travis Hanaway each to pay $1,597.50 in forfeitures, surcharges and costs for improper storage and disposal of hazardous wastes generated by their shop.  In addition, the judgment requires each defendant to pay an additional $1,000 forfeiture if substances other than clean wood are burned at their residence during the next three years.

 

According to the complaint filed by the Department of Justice upon referral by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Hanaways operated an auto body shop out of their garage from 2008 to 2013.  They painted cars about once a week, and this work generated five gallons of spent solvent every three or four months.  The spent solvent is a listed hazardous waste.  This spent solvent contains chemicals that, if inhaled, can lead to eye, nose and throat irritation, headache, loss of coordination, nausea, and damage to a person’s liver, kidneys and central nervous system.

 

Timothy Hanaway had properly disposed of spent solvents when he had operated his shop at a different location; however, when he was operating the shop from his garage with his son, Travis Hanaway, Travis disposed of the spent solvents by burning them in an on-site burn pit.  According to the complaint, Travis Hanaway used spent solvents to start five fires each summer from 2010 through 2013.

 

When the DNR discovered the hazardous waste violations, it directed the Hanaways to properly close and label containers that held hazardous waste; have their waste analyzed; properly dispose of the hazardous waste (solvents and ash) through a licensed facility; and hire a contractor to sample soils below the burn pit area to evaluate if any release occurred in the burn pit area.  The Hanaways have cooperated with the DNR and have completed all of these tasks.

 

Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations require hazardous wastes to be properly managed from cradle to grave (generation to disposal).  Hazardous wastes should be placed in good non-leaking containers, kept closed and labeled “Hazardous Waste” and then properly disposed of through a licensed treatment storage and disposal facility.  Improper management of hazardous waste can result in both human and environmental impacts, and can be costly to clean up if it is released to the ground.

 

Assistant Attorney General Diane L. Milligan represented the State.  The Judgment was signed by Oconto County Circuit Court Judge Michael T. Judge on December 5, 2014.

 

 

A copy of the Summons and Complaint, Stipulation and Order for Judgment and Judgment is available here.