A waste mangement plant violates EPA requirements

Mercury can be found in many things: light bulbs, paint, batteries, and even microwaves.

But you can't just throw them in the trash can to get rid of them; you have to take it to a specialized drop site.

A waste management plant in Kaiser, MO will pay a hefty fine for not following EPA rules to get rid of the waste.

KRCG's Fact Finder Team investigated.

Waste Management LampTracker is a plant that recycles and collects things that contain mercury.

In August of last year the United States Environmental Protection Agency cited the company for violations that ranged from inadequate waste container management, inadequate facility management, to failure to comply with universal waste requirements.

"These were predominantly administrative, very small items that were found to be deficient, Waste Management LampTracker Tom Powers said.

But those small violations will cost the company almost $120,000.

Most of the businesses and residents near Waste Management LampTracker tell me they're worried that mercury could be polluting the air or even getting in their drinking water.

"My big concern is, what if mercury seeps into the ground and into our water source? Most of us here in Kaiser use wells, and if that happens it could effect our wells. That's what I TMm most concerned about, Kaiser Resident Steve Hofstetter said.

He has reason to be concerned. If you drink or inhale mercury it can cause nerve and respiratory problems.

But the company is trying to assure residents there is no risk, because all the waste work is done inside their facility not outside.

"There's no operations outside that could meet with the rain water and get into the water systems, Powers said.

Powers tells me after EPA issued their report, the company fixed the problems immediately.

"We've addressed all issues. The site has been in compliance since very shortly after the inspection in August 2010. Right now our objective is to be compliant and keep our employees safe and healthy, Powers said.

So tell us what you think. Would you be worried if this plant was near your house or business?