Clean Harbors Environmental Services has agreed to pay a $790,000 civil penalty for environmental and safety violations at its commercial hazardous waste incinerator south of Kimball.
Under the terms of the settlement with the EPA and the Nebraska Dept of Environment and Energy, Clean Harbors also agrees to improve practices at the incinerator to protect facility workers and the surrounding community from potentially harmful releases of pollutants.
This isn’t the first time the Kimball plant has run afoul of state and federal regulators. It was hit with enforcement actions that included civil penalties in 1997, 2004, and 2010.
The EPA and NDEE say the violations this time included failure to manage and contain hazardous wastes; failure to comply with air emission limits; failure to comply with chemical accident prevention safety requirements; and failure to timely report use of certain toxic chemicals.
The agencies say the improper management of wastes incinerated at the Kimball facility led to unsafe conditions that could have resulted in injuries to employees and releases of harmful air pollution to the outside. One example they give is the failure to address multiple fires caused by mixing incompatible wastes.
Terms of the settlement include upgraded plans to classify, manage and contain the wastes incinerated at the facility; an updated fire prevention and response program; and an environmental audit to identify and address any continuing noncompliance.
Clean Harbors Environmental Services operates over 150 facilities throughout the U.S. and Canada, including landfills, wastewater treatment facilities, and incineration and recycling centers.