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Company’s Paint Waste Draws $100K Fine

Friday, July 1, 2011

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An untended assortment of paint waste, alkaline and acidic corrosive liquids, and sludges containing heavy metals has drawn a $100,000 federal fine for a California metal plating company.

The Environmental Protection Agency has fined TMW Corp., of Van Nuys, for multiple violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, following an April 2009 at Crown Chrome Plating, which does metal plating primarily for the aerospace industry.

 Hazardous-waste containers

 WA Department of Ecology

EPA rules require facilities to properly store, label and close hazardous-waste containers, such as these in Washington State.

The Crown Chrome facility, owned by TMW, is located in a light industrial zone of Van Nuys, a San Fernando Valley community of about 136,000 residents.

Multiple Hazards

EPA said the company “generated multiple hazardous wastes,” including paint, alkaline and acidic corrosive liquids, and sludges containing chromium, lead and other heavy metals.

The violations included:

• Storage of hazardous waste for over 90 days without a permit;

• Failure to conduct required inspections;

• Failure to train personnel or maintain training records;

• Failure to maintain required emergency communications equipment; and

• Failure to make a hazardous waste determination.

Public Danger Cited

“These hazardous wastes, and the waste handling violations associated with them, are typical of those produced by metal plating shops, which are often the target of EPA enforcement actions,” according to an EPA statement.

“The toxic wastes and sludges at the Crown Chrome facility have the potential to pose a danger to employees, the surrounding community and the environment,” said EPA Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld.

“EPA is committed to enforcing the federal laws that require all companies to properly store and handle their hazardous wastes.”

EPA says TMW has now “returned to compliance with federal law and will pay a fine of $100,000.”

LA Enforcement Collaborative

EPA rules require facilities to properly store, label and close hazardous-waste containers. Facilities must also have properly trained staff.

The Crown Chrome investigation stemmed from  a new federal, state and local Los Angeles Area Environmental Enforcement Collaborative designed to focus resources on business and industry compliance with environmental laws.

The initiative includes Cal/EPA, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, and the California Air Resources Board as well as local non-profit organizations involved in regional environmental and public health concerns.

TMW, doing business as Castle Precision Industries, was acquired by Circor Aerospace Inc. in 2010.


Tagged categories: EPA; Health and safety; Hexavalent chromium; Lead; Paint disposal; Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)

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