Air Transport World

Warning: these hazardous wastes could cost you. (aircraft maintenance)

Warning: Those hazardous wastes could cost you

Mention environmental problems to airline people and they will usually think of noise-related operational restrictions at airports. But there is another environmental problem that impacts not only an airline but also senior maintenance personnel who could be hit with heffy fines and even jail sentences for mishandling it. This is the handling of hazardous and toxic chemicals and the disposal of dangerous wates produced by maintenance operations.

Among these materials are cleaning agents such as mineral spirits, deicing fluids, electroplating chemicals, heavy metals such as cadmium, paint stripping chemicals, thinners and sludge, contaminated fuel and oil, and batteries.

Claiming not to know about a dangerous work environment or improper disposal of wastes can prove to be no defense when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) decide to act tough. In a recent case, not related to the aircraft industry, company executives drew stiff jail sentences for ignoring a toxic environment in the work place.

With regard to dump sites, the situation may be even stickier. As dangerous sites have been uncovered in recent years, even long after they were created. …

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