The Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility has agreed to pay $56,000 for hazardous-waste violations at its facility in the Bremerton Naval Complex, according to an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
In January 2009, inspectors from the Washington State Department of Ecology and EPA found violations of hazardous-waste management laws at the shipyard, located in Bremerton, WA.
The violations included the improper storage and handling of waste plating solution containing hexavalent chromium in the sub-basement of the plating shop, EPA said. The plating shop has an open grated floor, which allowed hexavalent chromium to drip and drain through the floor to the basement below and accumulate there.
Exposure to hexavalent chromium can cause respiratory illnesses and increase the risk of lung cancer.
“This is a toxic compound that can cause health problems and harm the environment; handling it improperly can have serious consequences,” said Jeff Kenknight, Manager of the Hazardous Waste Compliance Unit. “Waste management practices are designed to minimize these risks.”
The inspectors also observed an open drum of paint solvent near an open bay door in a storage shed at the pier, which is on Puget Sound. The container risked contaminating the sound if spilled.
Both violations were of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which regulates hazardous-waste. Puget Sound Naval Shipyard has been working with EPA to address the violations.