In re Splendid Enterprises Ltd.
An administrative law judge (ALJ) enters a default order against a dry cleaning company, holds it liable for violating § 3005 of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and New York hazardous waste management regulations, and assesses a $ 34,250 civil administrative penalty against the company. The ALJ first finds the company in default for failing to appear at a hearing. Notwithstanding the multiple notices sent to the company concerning the hearing, the company failed to notify the ALJ of its nonappearance. The ALJ next holds the company liable on default. The company proffered no explanation for its failure to appear. The record, therefore, does not show good cause why a default order should not be issued. Moreover, the facts alleged in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) complaint establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the company violated RCRA and New York's hazardous waste management regulations. Specifically, the alleged facts, deemed to be admitted, establish that the company stored hazardous waste at the facility without having obtained a RCRA permit or qualifying for interim status; failed to keep hazardous waste drums and containers closed during storage; failed to conduct weekly inspections of hazardous waste storage containers and storage areas at the facility; failed to properly handle and store hazardous waste storage containers; failed to ship hazardous waste off-site with an accompanying manifest; failed to make appropriate arrangements with emergency response teams and to familiarize local hospitals; and failed to make a hazardous waste determination as to waste fluorescent bulbs.
The ALJ next assesses a $ 34,250 civil administrative penalty against the company for the violations. EPA's penalty calculation narrative attached to the complaint and the testimony of an EPA inspector show that in assessing the penalty, EPA considered both penalty factors identified in RCRA § 3008(a)(3); that is, the "seriousness of the violation" and "any good-faith efforts to comply with applicable requirements." Further, the proposed penalty is not clearly inconsistent with the record of the proceeding or RCRA.