National Technical Systems provides quality and conformance testing for various industries including aerospace, defense, telecommunications and information technology. On Oct. 23, 2002, the EPA inspectors discovered that the company was storing spent jet fuel filters and rinse sodium dichormate all classified as hazardous wastes without a permit, in violation of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
"Because National Technical Systems did not train its employees in hazardous waste handling and did not properly label its waste, the company failed to quality for the EPA's exemption for storage without a permit available to companies accumulating small amounts of hazardous waste," said Jeff Scott, director of EPA's Waste Division for the Pacific Southwest region.
The failure of National Technical Systems to properly label its hazardous wastes and properly train its employees presented a risk that its hazardous wastes would be mismanaged and or improperly disposed of.
The company also failed to determine whether some of its waste was hazardous. These violations were corrected before the settlement agreement was finalized.
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act protects communities from the hazards associated with the improper management of hazardous waste. If firms aren't sure what their responsibilities are under this law, they should contact EPA for guidance. For more information on EPA's Waste Program, visit wwww.epa.gov/epaoswer/osw.