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Notice of Violation:
Stericycle Inc.

Update December 3, 2014

The Air Quality Board approved the Stericycle Agreement (275 KB) between DEQ and Stericycle for the violations asserted in the August 28, 2014 Notice of Violation (NOV).


Update December 1, 2014

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Stericycle reached a Settlement Agreement (275 KB) on the violations asserted in the August 28, 2014 Notice of Violation (NOV). The Agreement requires Air Quality Board approval before becoming final.

The terms of the agreement are as follows:

  1. Stericycle shall pay a total stipulated penalty of $2,322.536.00.
    1. The company will pay half of this penalty ($1, 161, 268) to the state’s General Fund within 30 days.
    2. The remaining half of the penalty will be credited as a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) when Stericycle permanently ceases operations at its current North Salt Lake location.
  2. Stericycle shall relocate its medical waste incinerator to a new location in Tooele County no later than three years after the company receives the following documents:
    1. final, non-appealable permits from DEQ
    2. final, non-appealable permits from local governments
    3. Governor’s approval for construction required under state statute
  3. Stericycle shall submit all permit applications necessary to relocate the facility within 90 days of a signed agreement.
    1. Sixty days after Stericycle receives all Necessary Approvals to Construct, the company will provide a construction schedule to the Division of Air Quality (DAQ).
    2. Every 90 days, Stericycle will provide DAQ with a report on the construction progress.
  4. Within three years to the date that Stericycle obtains all Necessary Approvals to Construct, Stericycle’s Title V Operating Permit (February 19, 2009) (136 KB) and its Title V renewal and Approval Order (August 12, 2014) (117 KB) will become null and void, and Stericycle will permanently cease operations at its North Salt Lake facility.

The Agreement resolves all claims under the NOV. Air pollution control upgrades to the incinerator over the past two years have brought the facility into compliance with all applicable federal and state air quality regulations.


Update April 24, 2014

The Executive Director of DEQ appointed an administrative law judge (ALJ) to conduct an administrative hearing on the amended NOV and Stericycle’s Request for Agency Action (RFAA) for an evidentiary hearing to challenge the amended NOV.


On May 28, 2013, the Division of Air Quality (DAQ) issued a Notice of Violation and Order to Comply (8.1 MB) to Stericycle for multiple violations of its Title V air quality operating permit.

The Order required Stericycle to take all necessary actions to bring its operations into compliance with all applicable provisions of the Utah Air Conservation Act and submit written notification of its intent to comply, outlining how, and when compliance will be achieved to DAQ in writing on or before the 15th day after it received the Order. Stericycle submitted its 15-day response to the NOV (1.8 MB) to DAQ on June 14, 2013 and requested a 30-day extension from DAQ to decide whether it will challenge the Order. Stericycle submitted a request for extension (205 KB) on July 26, 2013, asking for additional time to work towards a settlement. DAQ granted Stericycle an extension (154 KB) until August 30, 2013. DAQ requested, and Stericycle agreed, to weekly meetings to advance settlement discussions, with an option for additional meetings as needed.

The Division of Air Quality identified a need to modify the NOV to explicitly cover each day of the nitrogen oxides (NOx) emission limit violation based on the charging rate of waste prior to the installation of additional NOx controls. On August 28, 2013, DAQ issued an Amended Notice of Violation and Order to Comply (6.7 MB). Stericycle responded to this Amended Notice of Violation by filing a Request for Agency Action (485 KB) with the Division on September 27, 2013.

Stericycle demonstrated compliance with the emission limits contained in its permit as of April 10, 2013, with the penalty accruals for the violations listed in the NOV ending on that date. Under state rules, DAQ can levy fines of up to $10,000 per day for every violation.

The violations identified in the Notice of Violation (NOV) occurred between 2011 and 2013. They include:

  1. emissions exceeding the permit limits for dioxin and furan
  2. emissions exceeding the permit limits for NOx on multiple occasions
  3. failure to report these emission exceedances to DAQ in a requisite time frame
  4. failure to maintain normal operating conditions during a stack test
  5. failure to include the test results demonstrating these emission exceedances in the requisite annual and semi-annual monitoring reports

The Division Director will determine the penalties for noncompliance based on the nature and extent of the violations and the potential for harm from the violations. Violations with a high potential for impact on the public health and the environment are subject to the highest penalties.

The Notice of Violation and Order to Comply is a document that describes findings of fact, identifies violations based on these findings, and issues mandatory compliance provisions based on the findings and violations. It does not establish penalties, but does provide information the Division Director can use in determining fines.

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