In re Zaclon, LLC, and Independence Land Development Co.
An administrative law judge (ALJ) assessed a $49,750 civil penalty against the owner and operator of a hazardous waste facility for storing baghouse dust, zinc ash, and zinc skimmings without a permit in violation of the Resource Conservation and Recover Act (RCRA). The ALJ, however, dismissed count two of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) complaint, alleging that spent stripping acid was a hazardous waste under RCRA. Because the spent stripping acid is recycled and used as an ingredient in the facility's manufacture of zinc ammonium chloride, it is not "reclaimed," and thus, not a hazardous waste. And while EPA proposed a penalty assessment of $162,371, the ALJ reduced the penalty to $49,750 based on the 1990 RCRA Civil Penalty Policy.