KINGFIELD – Kingfield Wood Products will be paying nearly $30,000 to set things right with the state Department of Environmental Protection.

The company was fined nearly $20,000 for violations this month after DEP officials visited and found a reporting violation and a series of hazardous waste disposal violations at the site.

In the DEP’s August enforcement report, the list of waste disposal violations by Frontier Forge Inc., doing business as Kingfield Wood Products, was more than 20 items long. Violations included allowing hazardous materials to evaporate, failing to keep hazardous waste containers closed, and failing to maintain an adequate hazardous waste containment system, among others.

“It’s pretty typical, where a facility has not complied with one of those rules, they probably have not complied with any of them,” DEP Director of Procedures and Enforcement Peter Carney said Wednesday.

For the most part, the hazardous waste in question was paint, Carney said.

“As far as violations, (hazardous waste disposal) is probably the most common violation we see,” he added.

The hazardous waste portion of the fine was $12,000, Carney said. Frontier was also fined $7,900 for the reporting violation. It originally failed to make a timely air emissions report in 2004, and was told then that if it made the same mistake again, it would have to pay the nearly $8,000 fine immediately.

The company was also required to hire a consultant to test the soil on the site, to make sure Frontier had not been dumping chemicals in the ground.

“We paid almost $10,000 to have an outside company come in and do soil testing just to prove we did not dump anything in the ground,” Kingfield Wood Products plant manager Dave Archer said Wednesday. “We just got the report back – there’s nothing in the ground,” he said.

The fines are a hardship, Archer said, but he didn’t make excuses for his company.

“It all started off with not reporting on time, which, in trying to keep this place running, because we’ve been in financial problems, competing with China and all that – we cut down on people in the office and reporting did not get done in a timely fashion.”

Archer did not argue with the usefulness of the stringent DEP applications, but he said they can be more of a hardship for smaller companies, than for big ones. “It affects smaller companies worse, especially when they’re trying to cut down on overhead,” he said.

“It takes a number of people to just run a business in the office,” he said.

If the company had not been in financial straights, the fine would have been much higher, Carney said. “They submitted an inability to pay analysis,” he said. “That was taken into account.”

Without the information, the hazardous waste fine would have been three times higher than the $12,000 figure, he said.

Either way, Kingfield Wood Products is moving on. “It happened and we dealt with it and got ourselves back in line, and now we’ve got to move forward,” Archer said.


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