SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's surprise inspections of California metal finishing companies has resulted in citations and fines totaling $155,800 against nine of them for violations of federal hazardous waste laws.
As a result of these enforcement actions, all nine companies returned to compliance with federal law and paid fines ranging from $2,000 to $48,500. One company also agreed to attend Compliance School in which employees are trained in appropriate on-site hazardous waste management techniques.
EPA said significant violations found during the California inspections included:
* Failing to maintain the facility to minimize the possibility of a release of hazardous waste to air, soil, or surface water which could threaten human health or contaminate the environment;
* Failing to label containers of hazardous waste which increases the possibility of improper handling of the waste;
* Failing to properly characterize wastes, which led to hazardous waste being disposed of in the general trash;
* Failing to close containers of hazardous waste, which increases workers’ exposure to hazardous constituents, contributes to air pollution, and increases the likelihood of spills;
* Failing to prepare or meet the requirements of a contingency plan, which increases the possibility of improper response to emergencies;
* Failing to provide proper training, which increases workers’ risk of exposure and increases the possibility of improper management of the wastes:
* Failing to inspect hazardous waste storage areas, increasing the possibility that containers may leak; and
* Storing hazardous waste for over 90 days without a permit.
* AAA Plating and Inspection of Compton, $19,800;
* Al’s Plating Co. of Los Angeles, $2,800;
* Bowman Plating Co. of Compton, $48,500;
* Bronzeway Plating Corp. of Los Angeles, $7,000;
* Hermetic Seal Corp. of Rosemead, $28,000;
* Highland Plating of Los Angeles, $7,500;
* Nu-Metal Finishing of Santa Clara, $5,200;
* Photo Chem Etch Corp. of Sun Valley, $2,000; and
* Vaga Industries of South El Monte, $35,000.
Read the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's press release.
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