December 23, 2003
SUBJECT: Solid Waste Management Permit No. RY-0081-01 Island Recycling, Inc., 50 Sand Island Access Road Tax Map Key 1-2-23: 34
Dear. Dr. Fukino
This letter is to inform you that EnviroWatch, Inc. has obtained documents that indicate Island Recycling, Inc. is in noncompliance with a number of conditions of the above-referenced SWMP, and we are requesting that the DOH take immediate steps to suspend or revoke the permit until the facility is brought into compliance.
First, the SWMP issued on October 8, 2001, states, "Specifically, the recycling facility is only permitted to operate on the property identified as Tax Map Key 1-2-23: 034. Therefore, no waste shall be stored or processed on any adjacent parcels." The facility occupies the following 8 parcels: TMK 1-2-23: 29, 34, 40, 42, 45, 47, 72, and 90. This unauthorized expansion appear to be a violation of the provisions of the SWMP.
Island Recycling, Inc. is also in noncompliance with Condition No. 7 of the SWMP, which requires them to obtain "any and all necessary approvals and permits from the appropriate federal, state, and local agencies, including zoning clearances, prior to the start of operations ". The City Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) has issued a Notice of Violation (No. 2001/NOV-08-215, issued August 30, 2001) and also a Notice of Order (No. 2003/NOO-070, issued May 20, 2003). The Notice of Order is a civil fine, which was assessed because remedial action (i.e., obtaining after-the-fact building permits for numerous unauthorized structures) was not taken in a timely manner. The City Building Inspector found numerous structures on several parcels that were constructed without the required building permits. Further, the site is within the Special Management Area (SMA). SMA Permit No. 2003/SMA-51 authorized certain uses on the 8 parcels, subject to conditions. To date, Island Recycling has not complied with the conditions, and the permit is not validated. Therefore, this constitutes another reason why they are in violation of Condition No. 7 of the SWMP.
Condition No. 5 of the SWMP states that the permit is "valid only for the specific processes and operations applied for and indicated in the submitted application and additional submittals on file with the department". We note that the SWMP authorizes the recycling facility to perform certain activities; however, under Part II, Recycling Special Conditions, Condition No. 2 specifically excludes "all scraps that contain fluids or refrigerant which includes, but is not limited to, autos, air conditioners, refrigerators, and freezers". The Department of Planning and Permitting has approved battery and appliance recycling at the site. Condition No. 5 of the SWMP states that any "unauthorized deviation from the submitted application, approved drawings, operations manual, additional submittals, or conditions of this permit may constitute grounds for revocation of this permit, and enforcement action by the department".
We urge the DOH to act in a timely manner to bring the facility into compliance with the SWMP, or the permit should be revoked as specified in the terms of the conditions. Moreover, under the circumstances, we believe that Condition No. 13 should be enforced, i.e., to require the permittee to conduct sampling and testing to determine the degree of pollution, if any, from the solid waste facility. We believe this to be important because the DOH's October 8, 2001, letter to Island Recycling, Inc. (which accompanied Permit No. RY-0081-01) notes that "appropriate health and safety measures be taken for and by your employees … of specific concern is the handling of metals from the H-power facility … the H-power facility has conducted some sampling and analysis of the ash for total metals and limited dioxin cogeners … the data indicate that EPA Region IX's preliminary remediation goals for industrial exposures may be exceeded."
Your prompt attention to this matter will be appreciated, since the situation raises issues of public health and safety, and noncompliance with the provisions of the SWMP itself.