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In re Zaclon, Inc.

Case Number: 
RCRA No. 05-2004-0019
ELR Citation:36 ELR 47876

An administrative law judge (ALJ) granted a motion to clarify the legal impact of a complaint brought by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) against the owner and operator of a hazardous waste facility that allegedly violated the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). EPA alleged that the facility illegally received, stored, and treated hazardous waste, namely spent stripping acid, without a permit or interim status. The facility, however, claimed that it had relied upon a 1994 letter by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency indicating that the stripping acid was exempt from RCRA. After the filing of the complaint, the facility's suppliers became concerned about the legality of supplying stripping acid to the facility and notified the facility that they were going to cease their shipments. Consequently, the facility sought clarification of the legal impact of the complaint. In granting the motion, the ALJ explained that while EPA is free to take enforcement action based on its interpretation of the regulations, the complaint merely set forth EPA's allegations and no decision has yet been made as to whether the stripping acid is a hazardous waste under RCRA.