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Fabricator Settles Paint Waste Case

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

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A structural steel fabricator has agreed to pay $57,100 for improperly managing containers of paint and other hazardous waste.

Bakersfield, CA-based Kern Steel Fabrication had about 30 improperly labeled containers with waste paint, used oil, batteries and fluorescent light lamps, according to the Environmental Protection Agency's 2012 investigation. Additionally, many of the containers weren't properly closed, the EPA said.

Kern Steel Fabrication

Kern Steel Fabrication, a steel fabricator that constructs aircraft platforms and other products, has agreed to pay $57,100 to improperly managing hazardous waste, according to the EPA.

The company constructs aircraft ground support maintenance platforms, work stands, and docking stations, among other products. The facility is located in a commercial-industrial area about three blocks from residential neighborhoods.

According to its website, the company has large painting and blasting facilities.

Managing Waste

Properly containing hazardous waste is required to minimize the possibility of a fire or sudden release of hazardous materials, according to the EPA.

The settlement is part of EPA Region 9's efforts to reduce pollution from facilities that manage, store, or handle large volumes of hazardous waste.

The company also failed to characterize some of the waste generated onsite as hazardous or not hazardous, and did not have an adequate plan to protect human health or the environment if there were a fire, explosion, or unplanned release of hazards, the EPA said.

Environmental Protection Agency

The facility is in a commercial-industrial area about three blocks from homes.

The EPA also found that the facility did not submit a timely Biennial Report for 2011 and 2013. The reports are required for facilities that generate a minimum of 2,200 pounds of hazardous waste per month.

RCRA Guidelines

The EPA is authorized under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act to oversee the generation, transportation, treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous waste.

Under RCRA, waste must be stored, handled and disposed of using measures that safeguard public health and the environment.


Tagged categories: EPA; Hazardous waste; Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA); Steel; Structural steel

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (11/12/2014, 8:22 AM)

Batteries and bulbs could be categorized as "Universal Waste" with less onerous paperwork and storage requirements. In Texas (only) paint could also be categorized with "Universal Waste." This doesn't mean it can just be dumped - it still needs to go to the proper waste facility. Federally, used motor oil could be designated for recycling instead of as hazardous waste. Unfortunately for this company, California (and two other states) define used motor oil as hazardous waste. Anyway, this mostly seems to be paperwork/labeling oversights - not any real risk of the waste getting into the environment.

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