The Utah Transit Authority has been fined $35,000 for violating state hazardous-waste laws.
But $20,000 of that fine will be deferred for a year and dropped if the UTA refrains from additional, similar violations.In a "stipulation and consent order" approved this week by the state Solid and Hazardous Waste Control Board, the UTA agreed to pay $15,000 to the state to settle allegations that the UTA did not follow proper hazardous-waste procedures at its Meadowbrook facility, the largest of UTA's three bus-maintenance shops.
The facility generates hazardous wastes such as degreasers, paint and lacquer thinners, antifreeze and used motor oil.
During a visit to the facility in February 1993, state environmental inspectors found numerous record-keeping violations, said Dennis Downs, director of the state Division of Solid and Hazardous Waste.
The inspectors also found that the UTA, contrary to regulations, did not have prevention, emergency preparedness and personnel training plans in place, according to a notice of violation issued in April 1993.
Additionally, the UTA was not testing its used oil to determine if it meets the proper specifications for hazardous waste disposal. The UTA also was found to be storing used antifreeze in a 2,000-gallon underground storage tank that did not fully comply with all the requirements for tank operators, the notice states.
The order requires the UTA to close the underground storage tank, ensuring that it will pose no future environmental hazard.
Underground storage tanks are of particular concern because of the potential for groundwater contamination.
However, in the case of UTA's violations, there was no spillage or leakage.
"It's not like there was any environmental damage done," said UTA spokesman Bill Barnes. "And the problems have been solved. We don't anticipate having any future problems at all."