The settlement follows an April 2008 inspection
of the school's Danforth Campus and School of Medicine in which the Environmental Protection Agency noted several
violations of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA),
which regulates the generation, transportation, treatment, storage, and
disposal of hazardous waste.
In a statement yesterday, Washington University described the violations as "administrative in nature" having to do with the labeling of small amounts of toxins. "There were no life safety concerns and no harm to the environment," according to the university.
As part of the settlement, the university will spend a
minimum of $45,000 to address
hazardous waste issues in 12 high schools within the St. Louis Public
Schools District. Schools targeted in project work plan include
Beaumont, Blewett, Carnahan, Clark, Cleveland, Des Peres, Gateway,
Laclede, Lyon, Mark Twain, Sherman and Sigal.
"This enforcement action, coupled with the
supplemental project to help the St. Louis Public Schools, will
ultimately make academic laboratories, school campuses, and their
surrounding urban communities safer places in which to learn, work and
live," said Karl Brooks, EPA Region 7 Administrator.
Washington University is to pay a
$15,000 civil penalty and spend an additional $45,000 on a supplemental
project to help clean science laboratories of hazardous waste in several St. Louis public schools.