Oil & Gas News

OKC Oil Recycler To Pay $2MM Penalties

Oil, Recycler

By: EPA.gov – January Environmental Services, Inc., January Transport, Inc., and company-owner Cris January will pay civil penalties of $1.9 million and perform comprehensive corrective measures to resolve allegations that they violated the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) through their used oil transportation and processing operations in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

In a complaint filed on November 30, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Justice, and the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) alleged that the companies and Cris January committed multiple violations of RCRA’s used oil and hazardous waste regulations.

“Federal hazardous waste laws are vital to preventing pollution from entering the environment and causing costly damage to natural resources and potential harm to people’s health,” said EPA Regional Administrator Dr. Earthea Nance. “Companies are required to take responsibility for these materials for their entire lifespan, and must be held accountable for failing to do so.”

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JTI owns and operates a used oil transportation service, and JES owns and operates a used oil storage/processing facility in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Mr. Cris January is the president of both corporate entities. Prior inspections of the facility by ODEQ found alleged violations of RCRA regulations regarding used oil and hazardous waste transport and storage. In November 2017 and March 2019, joint EPA and ODEQ inspections found these types of violations had continued.

Companies that receive, store, handle, generate or transport hazardous waste must follow RCRA regulations, including properly determining whether the waste is hazardous and properly tracking the hazardous wastes through a manifest system. Alleged violations at JTI and JES included failure to perform hazardous waste determinations for solid wastes found onsite, storing hazardous waste without a RCRA permit, and accepting hazardous waste for transport without a hazardous waste manifest. Additionally, companies that receive, transport, store, and/or process used oil for recycling must comply with RCRA’s used oil program. The alleged violations by JTI and JES also included transporting used oil and accepting used oil for processing without determining its halogen content,  and failing to comply with the General Facility Standards and recordkeeping for used oil processors.

This settlement, approved [today] by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, requires JES and JTI to institute a number of company-wide changes to come into compliance with RCRA used oil and hazardous waste regulations, many of which the companies have already undertaken. Compliance requirements include training staff on using proper manifest forms to track the handling of hazardous waste, develop a written waste management plan, and update emergency preparations such as coordinating with local emergency responders and hiring an independent engineer to review the facilities’ spill-containment and contingency plans.

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