RCRA Judgement Against Dearborn Refining Includes Million-Dollar Penalty

Oct. 15, 2003
EPA Region 5 recently announced that an administrative judge issued an initial ruling finding Dearborn Refining Co., Dearborn, Mich., in violation of eight counts of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the federal law governing hazardous waste and used oil. A $1.25 million penalty and a cleanup order were issued by the court.

"This is just one part of our larger effort to protect and clean up the Detroit and Rouge watersheds," said Region 5 Administrator Thomas V. Skinner. "We will continue to vigorously seek out companies like Dearborn Refining that disregard environmental regulations."

Dearborn Refining Co. blends and markets used and virgin oil into lubricating and metal-working products. EPA filed a civil action against Dearborn Refining in September 2001 for failing to follow used-oil management regulations including:

  • Inadequate secondary containment system (dikes, berms, retaining walls, floors) for its above-ground storage tanks;
  • Unlabeled tanks and containers;
  • Rusting and deteriorating containers;
  • Inadequate internal communications system for employees;
  • Inadequate contingency plan;
  • Emergency equipment not properly located;
  • Inadequate used oil analysis plans; and
  • No permit for storage or disposal of hazardous waste.

Dearborn Refining is appealing the decision to the Environmental Appeals Board. EPA Region 5 has filed a brief in response to the appeal.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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