EPA Reaches Pricey Settlement with MI-Based Usher Enterprises

Posted on Nov 1 2009 - 4:23pm by Winnie Hsiu

According to an October 30 posting on detnews.com, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Friday reached a $700,000 settlement with Detroit-based Usher Enterprises Incorporated, over alleged violations of hazardous waste regulations (used oil) as outlined in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, at 2 different oil recycling operations. Those monies will be used toward upgrading the two facilities in question.


The facilities – one at 10585 Grand River Avenue, which stored 1 million gallons of used oil; the other site, at 8900 Roselawn Avenue, which had 50 storage tanks – will be getting new oil storage tanks, as well as improving secondary containment, and the testing and decontamination of older tanks.


The EPA inspected these 2 facilities because of their potentially detrimental effect on the Detroit River, an important nesting and feeding area for migratory birds. 


The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), enacted in 1976, is the principal Federal law in the United States governing the disposal of solid waste and hazardous waste.


Congress enacted the RCRA to address the increasing problems the nation faced from its growing volume of municipal and industrial waste. RCRA set national goals for:


·    Protecting human health and the environment from the potential hazards of waste disposal;

·    Conserving energy and natural resources;

·    Reducing the amount of waste generated;

·    Ensuring that wastes are managed in an environmentally-sound manner.


In 1984, Congress expanded this law with the Hazardous and Solid Wastes Amendments of 1984. The amendments strengthened the law by covering small quantity generators of hazardous waste and establishing requirements for hazardous waste incinerators, as well as the closing of substandard landfills. In 1986, the law was further expanded to regulate underground storage tanks and other leaking waste storage facilities.


As part of the settlement, Usher Enterprises is also required to pay a $19,700 fine.