Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson has agreed to pay a $78,919 penalty as part of a settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency over mishandling of hazardous waste.

According to a release from the EPA, between 2016 and 2018 JBER personnel failed to "evaluate and categorize" two waste streams as hazardous, didn't do required weekly inspections of where the waste was collecting, didn't adequately label or manage containers and didn't do annual training. 

The agency alleges the base violated the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which allows the EPA to control hazardous waste from the time it's created till the time it's disposed of. The act was put in place in 1986 to prevent environmental issues that could arise from storing hazardous materials such as oil and gas underground.

"Managing hazardous waste correctly is critical to the health of workers, to neighbors, and to the environment," said Ed Kowalski, director of EPA Region 10's Enforcement and Compliance Assistance Division. "We're pleased that JBER leadership took immediate action when we discovered the problems at the base."

JBER corrected the issues quickly and put standards in place so the violations don't happen again. 

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