EPA intends to terminate permits for EDS wells in Romulus

CHICAGO (Apr. 13, 2007) — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has notified Environmental Disposal Systems of Birmingham, Mich., that it intends to terminate federal permits allowing the injection of hazardous waste into two underground disposal wells at a facility in Romulus.

Since 2005, the company had been accepting a variety of liquid hazardous wastes from industry and injecting them into a layer of rock nearly a mile underground.

EPA’s proposed decision is based on numerous violations, including failing to notify the agency of an ownership transfer, at the now-closed facility.   

“When EPA issues permits, it expects companies to comply with the terms,” said EPA Regional Administrator Mary Gade. “In this instance, EDS did not comply with the terms of its underground injection control permits. For this reason, EPA has notified EDS that it intends to terminate its underground injection control permits. EPA takes its responsibility to protect human health and the environment seriously.”

The company and the public will have an opportunity to comment on the proposed termination. The public comment period will begin April 23 and end June 8. A public meeting and hearing is scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 23, at the Crowne Plaza Detroit, 8000 Merriman Road, Romulus.

EPA originally approved permits to allow the injection of hazardous waste into the two disposal wells in 1998 and renewed the permits in 2004.  

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality inspectors found a leak in the surface piping of one of the wells during an October 2006 visit and ordered the facility shut down. Subsequent inspections by EPA confirmed the leak and identified numerous other violations of the permit conditions. For these violations, EPA recently issued an administrative order to the company proposing a penalty of $73,992. 

For more information about underground injection control and Environmental Disposal Systems go to www.epa.gov/region5/water/uic/uicpub.htm.