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State v. Uretek, Inc.

ELR Citation: 18 ELR 21483
Nos. No. 13183, 543 A.2d 709/207 Conn. 706, (Conn., 06/07/1988)

The court holds that adequate evidence supports the conviction of a corporation of storing hazardous waste without a permit required under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Defendant, a small quantity generator, was charged with knowingly storing more than ten containers of hazardous waste without a permit, a crime under Connecticut law. The court first holds that each element of the offense as charged against the corporation was proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Defendant "stored" hazardous waste within the meaning of the Connecticut statute, since evidence indicated that the hazardous materials were kept on defendant's premises for more than one year. It could reasonably be inferred from the amount of hazardous waste generated monthly by defendant and photographic evidence showing waste drums overgrown with vegetation that at least 10 drums of waste had remained at the site for more than one year. In addition, there is evidence that at least 10 of the drums, containing enough material to trigger a permit requirement, actually contained regulated wastes. Samples taken from six different drums by state authorities and the testimony of the corporation's president that the materials in the drums were nearly homogenous constitute adequate evidence of the minimum amount of stored material. The materials contained within the drums were "spent" within the meaning of 40 C.F.R. §261.31, and were therefore "hazardous." The court rules that material is "spent" if it has been used for its original purpose and is either discarded or cannot be used again for that purpose. The court holds, therefore, that although defendant's fire-damaged stock that had never been used may not be "spent" material, the drums of used chemicals had been discarded and were "spent."

Counsel for Plaintiff-Appellee
James G. Clark, Ass't State's Attorney
246 Church St., Ste. 106, New Haven CT 06510
(203) 789-7801

Counsel for Defendants-Appellants
F. Timothy McNamara
102 Oak St., Hartford CT 06106
(203) 249-8458

Before PETERS, C.J., and ARTHUR H. HEALEY, SHEA, GLASS, COVELLO, and HULL, JJ.