Southern California facilities ordered to improve management of hazardous wastes, air emissions

(San Francisco, CA – Insurance News and Markets) – Two Southern California companies have settled with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding claims that they had improperly handled hazardous waste materials.

The EPA announced on Aug. 3 that Bachem Americas, Inc., and Crosby Overton, Inc., will pay penalties and emergency response assistance in excess of $130,000 for violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

“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.”

Bachem, a Swiss pharmaceutical company, was inspected in Torrance. There, EPA inspectors found acetonitrile (which is flammable) and trifluoroacetic acid (which is corrosive). They also found that storage tanks and equipment were not inspected for leaks; containers were not always closed and properly labeled. The company will pay $22,376 in penalties and pay more than $25,000 on a supplemental environmental project to support the Torrance Fire Department’s emergency planning  and preparedness.  All compliance issues have been fixed.

Crosby and Overton’s facility in Long Beach was inspected in August 2014. Then, the EPA found that broken batteries were improperly stored, that equipment was not properly used and maintained, and that the company had not completed required inspections and hazardous waste material management. Violations have been corrected. The company will pay $78, 570 in penalties.

Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.