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Top U.S. Galvanizer Fined Over Waste

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

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The nation’s largest galvanizing company has agreed to pay $79,700 to settle multiple state and federal hazardous waste violations at its Phoenix-area facility.

AZZ Galvanizing Services, which has 33 locations nationwide, is one of three Arizona manufacturing and processing companies that have settled waste violation claims with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

AZZ Galvanizing Services

AZZ Galvanizing Services

AZZ Galvanizing’s projects include the Martin
Midstream RPG Unloading Facility in Baytown, TX.

‘Strict Environmental Controls’

Casa Grande-based Hexcel Corp., which develops and manufactures composites for use in commercial aerospace, wind energy and industrial applications, will pay a $20,000 penalty.

Tempe-based Acme Aerospace, which designs and manufactures custom batteries and battery control electronic systems for military and commercial aircraft applications, was fined $31,000.

“We impose strict environmental controls to make sure hazardous waste is properly handled,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest.

“Worker safety and the health of nearby communities is our primary concern, but it’s also important to enforce against violators to prevent them from gaining an economic advantage over their competitors.”

Numerous Violations

EPA and ADEQ inspectors found numerous hazardous waste violations during inspections in 2008 and 2009 at the companies. The AZZ inspection targeted its facility in Goodyear, AZ. Among the violations:

• Failure to maintain the facility to minimize the possibility of releasing hazardous waste into the air, soil, or surface water;

• Failure to label containers of hazardous waste, which increases the risk of improper handling;

• Failure to properly characterize wastes, which led to hazardous waste being disposed of in the general trash;

• Failure to close hazardous waste containers, increasing workers’ exposure to hazardous constituents, contributing to air pollution, and increasing the likelihood of spills;

• Failure to provide proper training; and

• Storing hazardous waste for more than 90 days without a permit.

AZZ Galvanizing, based in Fort Worth, TX, has provided Hot-Dip Galvanizing services for corrosion protection for more than 40 years. The company is a member of AISC, NACE and AGA and says on its web site that it is “committed to environment stewardship.”

AZZ did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday (March 9).

Hexcel said in a statement: “The violations cited were essentially record keeping in nature and did not pose a direct threat to human health or the environment.  The specific issues have been corrected and we have revised our processes to assure future compliance.  There were no issues with emissions, spills or other health & safety concerns.”

The EPA’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Act program oversees the safe management and disposal of hazardous waste.

   

Tagged categories: Corrosion protection; EPA; Galvanized steel; Hazardous waste; Violations

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