2011-10-07 "EPA finds a few minor violations at Vallejo ship recycler" by Jessica A. York from "Vallejo Times-Herald" newspaper
An Environmental Protect Agency visit to one of Mare Island's newest large industrial employers earlier this year uncovered only housekeeping violations.
Allied Defense Recycling, which dismantles ships, remedied the majority of EPA's concerns, which were spotted during a May site investigation and fixed by subsequent site visits in June. Other issues were also remedied, according to an EPA inspection report released in September and acquired by the Times-Herald this month.
The investigation was launched when the company's disposal of toxin-laden paint from a ship it dismantled, the Solon Turman, was called into question by competing, Texas-based ship dismantler International Shipbreaking, Limited, Ltd. (ISL), according to the agency report.
Though EPA investigators found several areas of noncompliance, like barrel alignment, labeling and disposed material coverage, none rose to the level of imposed fines, according to the report. The EPA report cited one area of ongoing concern, however.
"During the inspection, EPA intended to collect paint samples from the areas specified by (International Shipbreaking, Limited) to confirm the presence of PCBs (toxic chemicals) in certain areas of the ship's hull. However, (Allied Defense Recycling) had already removed a majority of the ship's hull by the date of EPA's inspection," the report states.
Allied Defense Recycling managing director Jay Anast said Thursday that he felt EPA's report was "irresponsible" for making unproven insinuations, and that the company retested paint samples when concerns first arose, going above and beyond EPA-regulated protocol.
"You can't prove a negative," Anast said. "It's impossible for us to respond to that. If we have to start responding to, that so-and-so said something we can't prove otherwise, that's really unfair."
Christopher Rollins, a Region 9 EPA enforcement officer and co-author of Allied Defense Recycling's inspection report, said Allied Defense Recycling was advised to meet with EPA officials prior to further ship dismantling, so agency officials might be involved with the future sampling plans.