From Green Right Now Reports
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is pursuing enforcement against California metal finishing companies for violations of federal hazardous waste laws discovered during inspections conducted in Los Angeles, Rosemead, Sun Valley, Compton, Van Nuys, South El Monte and Santa Clara during the current fiscal year.
Nine companies paid fines ranging from $2,000 to $48,500 and have returned to compliance with federal law, EPA officials said. One company also agreed to attend Compliance School in which employees are trained in appropriate on-site hazardous waste management techniques.
Metal finishers typically generate hazardous wastes, including acids and sludges that contain heavy metals such as chromium, cadmium, and lead; spent plating solutions containing metals or cyanides; flammable liquids; and, both alkaline and acidic corrosive liquids.
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
- Storage of hazardous waste for over 90 days without a permit
The companies that have settled with the EPA are:
Al’s Plating Company ($2,800)
318 West 131st St.
Los Angeles, CA 90061
Hermetic Seal Corporation ($28,000)
4232 Temple City Blvd.
Rosemead, CA 91770
Nu-Metal Finishing ($5,200)
2262 Calle del Mundo
Santa Clara, CA 95054
Photo Chem Etch Corp. ($2,000)
7170 San Fernando Rd
Sun Valley, CA 91352
Bowman Plating Company ($48,500)
2631 East 126th St.
Compton, CA 90222
AAA Plating and Inspection ($19,800)
424 Dixon St.
Compton, CA 90222
Highland Plating ($7,500)
1001 N. Orange Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Vaga Industries ($35,000)
2505 Loma Avenue
South El Monte, CA 91733
Bronzeway Plating Corp. ($7,000)
3432 E. 15th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90023
Two of the fined facilities are in Compton, which is one of several densely populated communities closest to the I-710 Freeway, where the effects of pollution are disproportionately higher than in other areas of Los Angeles County. EPA said approximately 1 million people, about 70 percent of whom are minority and low-income households, are severely impacted by pollution from industrial activities in the area and goods movement along the freeway.