Stericycle settles with EPA on emissions accusation

Stericycle Inc. has reached a settlement with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designed to resolve alleged violations of the federal Clean Air Act and Utah air quality regulations at a Stericycle medical waste disposal plant in North Salt Lake, Utah.

According to the EPA, the settlement requires Stericycle to comply with EPA regulations applicable to medical waste incinerators, pay a $600,000 civil penalty, and conduct a Supplemental Environmental Project requiring the company to spend at least $2 million to purchase low-emitting school buses for a local school district.

The EPA’s complaint alleges Stericycle operated its Utah waste incinerator in a manner that exceeded regulatory limits for nitrogen oxides (NOx); failed to properly conduct stack tests; and failed to comply with reporting requirements. EPA investigated the alleged violations in cooperation with the Utah Division of Air Quality, which concluded its own action for related violations several years ago.

“This settlement will benefit all who live in and visit North Salt Lake,” says EPA Acting Regional Administrator Debra H. Thomas. “In addition to NOx reductions at the facility, the settlement requires Stericycle to replace old, high-emitting school buses for a local school district, providing cleaner air for school children and nearby neighborhoods.”

“Medical waste incinerators must operate in strict compliance with our nation’s clean air laws,” says Jean E. Williams, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the DOJ’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “Stericycle has installed new pollution controls and made operational changes to remedy the violations alleged in the complaint.”

The consent decree, which can be viewed by clicking a link on this web page,  is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.

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