West Virginia airport operator charged with environmental crimes 

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Executive Air Terminal, Inc., has pleaded guilty to illegal storage of hazardous waste and will be sentenced in early May.   According to reports,

Executive Air is accused of breaking the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which makes it a crime for someone to store or dispose of hazardous waste without a permit. Under the act, Executive Air was allowed to store up to 1,000 kilograms of hazardous waste before it needed a permit from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.

By September 2015, Executive Air had accumulated 37 55-gallon drums of waste fluid from draining and collecting oil, deicing and aviation fluid. Of those, 27 had hazardous waste — a total of about 3,675 kilograms, according to court documents.

A lawyer for the company, Mychal Sommer Schulz, would not comment Friday for this report.

Executive Air and the DEP entered a consent order dated July 20, 2016, after the DEP’s Division of Water and Waste Management issued 13 environmental violations to the company.

According to the consent order, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency first notified the DEP that it had discovered 37 drums of liquid waste near Park Avenue and Washington Street West, in Charleston, on Nov. 5, 2015. The drums had been stored at Yeager Airport “until the drums were moved off site in the early morning hours of September 17 and 18, 2015,” according to the information.

This case serves as an important reminder of the importance of companies establishing robust compliance programs and external third party audits to ensure compliance with federal and state environmental laws.