Oil Recovery System Enables EPA Compliance

Source: Environmental Leader Green Fleets online

Atlas Auto Crushers solved its waste oil problem and became compliant with EPA regulations by installing an oil-recovery system to reduce the amount of oil in its waste water, according to a case study.

Oil Skimmers, the company that produced the oil recovery system, published the case study.

Atlas Auto Crushers says when it crushes junkers and strips them of their parts, despite removing oil from the engine, residual oil use to still leak and spread onto its lot, creating environmental concerns. In auto recycling, collecting and disposing hazardous waste is a major challenge and the EPA closely monitors industrial activity for environmental compliance.

The Warren, Ohio-based business needed an uncomplicated, dependable recovery system that did not require supervision or maintenance and could withstand Ohio’s severe winters and seasonal heavy rain. Water levels in the lot could rise very high and the company needed an oil recovery system that would function in varying levels of water without mechanical problems.

In 1988, Atlas chose the Model 6V Brill oil-recovery system from Oil Skimmers, a Cleveland company. It has kept the company compliant with EPA regulations since then, aided by a winterization package that heats the oil to prevent it from solidifying in cold weather.

The system is mounted on a cantilevered 8-foot broom and has a polyurethane tube that dips into the oil on the ground and sucks it up – it attracts only oil, not water. The tube is drawn back through blades that clean the oil off of it; then it dips back into the oil on the ground. The collected oil is stored in a tank and recycled.

Atlas Auto Crushers says that the amount of water the system removes from waste oil is a major benefit, since it pays to have the oil removed from its facility and would rather not also pay for recyclers to haul away water. The broom mounting allows the company to reposition the system on different areas of the lot, conducting a systematic cleaning.

Changes to how the EPA performs site assessment could increase costs, according to a report published last week by GlobeSt.com. The new standards are likely to create a greater emphasis on assessing contamination migration risk, expanding the definition of contamination to potentially cover vapor rather than just soil and groundwater.