Vista Paint Corp. has agreed to pay $1 million to six District Attorney’s Offices in California to settle a lawsuit charging illegal transportation and mismanagement of hazardous waste and materials.
Under a settlement signed Monday (Jan. 3) in the Superior Court of California in Orange County, where Vista is based, the company agreed to pay $1.075 million. The total includes $848,000 in civil penalties and the remainder in costs and supplemental environmental projects that will provide support for the future enforcement of California environmental law.
Prosecutors say Vista Paint improperly handled and transported hazardous waste, including paint thinners and solvents, unusable paint materials, and rags and absorbents used to clean up spills of hazardous materials. Vista Paint admits no fault or liability under the settlement.
Six Counties Affected
The settlement pertains to all Vista Paint retail stores in Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Placer, and Stanislaus counties.
California’s Hazardous Waste Control Law requires hazardous waste to be properly handled and disposed of from the location where it was generated. The hazardous waste in this case was generated at Vista Paint retail locations and then illegally transported to a central facility in Fullerton, CA, without proper management or disposal of the waste as required by law, prosecutors said.
New Practices Ordered
The terms of the settlement require Vista Paint to properly label and store hazardous waste, train each employee at waste-generating facilities to identify hazardous waste, register each Vista Paint retail store that generates hazardous waste with the Department of Toxic Substances Control, and allow for the tracking of hazardous waste shipments.
Vista Paint did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, company president Eddie Fischer told The Associated Press that there had been no environmental damage in the case and that the company had changed its procedures to comply with all laws.
According to its website, Vista was founded in 1956 in Stanton, CA, and now operates 48 retail locations. The company’s products include architectural, traffic, industrial and commercial paints and coatings for metal, masonry and other substrates.