An example of toxic waste. via wikimedia commons
An example of toxic waste. via wikimedia commons

Federal environmental regulators reached settlements with two Southland facilities over improper handling of hazardous waste, it was announced Wednesday.

Bachem Americas Inc. and Crosby & Overton Inc. will collectively pay more than $130,000 in penalties and emergency response assistance for federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act violations, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“Whether a company generates its own hazardous waste or treats waste from offsite, the material must be handled correctly to keep surrounding communities safe,” said Kathleen Johnson, EPA’s enforcement division director for the Pacific Southwest.

“EPA and the state are working together to improve oversight of these facilities, especially as we increase our focus on RCRA air emissions compliance,” she said.

In April 2015, during an inspection of Bachem’s plant in Torrance, regulators found poorly stored flammable and corrosive waste, in violation of air emission standards, according to the EPA.

Bachem agreed to pay a $22,376 penalty and spend at least $29,000 on a supplemental environmental project in support of the Torrance Fire Department’s emergency planning and preparedness efforts, according to the EPA. The company has corrected the violations.

During an August 2014 investigation of Crosby & Overton’s hazardous waste treatment facility in Long Beach, the EPA found that the company failed to safely store broken batteries, which contain corrosive hazardous waste.

In addition, Crosby & Overton did not properly use and maintain equipment — such as a diaphragm pump for pumping paint waste — and failed to conduct the required inspections and monitoring to manage hazardous materials and related air emissions, according to the EPA.

Crosby & Overton has corrected the violations and agreed to pay a $78,570 penalty, the federal agency reported.

Under EPA’s resource conservation program, hazardous substances must be stored, handled and disposed of using measures that safeguard public health and the environment.

–City News Service 

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