DTSC Orders Metal Recycler to Pay Hazardous Waste Investigation and Cleanup Costs

Posted on 3/26/2021 by Roger Marks and Lauren Scott

In a recently issued enforcement order, California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) could require a scrap metal recycling facility in Fresno to clean up hazardous waste the site’s operations allegedly released into the environment.

The facility, which receives and processes discarded metal to be resold or recycled, “unlawfully disposed of soil contaminated with lead and other harmful metals, without a hazardous waste permit,” DTSC alleges.
When DTSC inspected the facility in 2013, inspectors found “failure to operate a facility in a manner to minimize the release of hazardous waste/constituents.” Soil samples collected contained cadmium, copper, lead, mercury zine, and PCBs—all at levels above the regulatory thresholds in Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations (22 CCR).  

This Enforcement Order requires the company to determine if hazardous wastes are being released into the environment at its Fresno facility. The assessment will also include past release mitigation measures and identify any additional measures that could be implemented.

If DTSC determines further actions are necessary, the facility must plan and implement corrective measures to clean up the alleged contamination, including providing regular progress reports to DTSC. 

While the Enforcement Order does not include a civil penalty, the facility is liable for all costs associated with the implementation of the Order, including costs incurred by DTSC. 

The facility may request a hearing to challenge the Order.

Under Federal and California State laws and regulations, hazardous waste must be managed, stored, and treated properly before disposal.

California Hazardous Waste Training Starts this Spring

Be confident that you know the unique hazardous waste management and reporting rules that apply to generators in the Golden State. Lion will present the California Hazardous Waste Management Refresher webinar this spring on April 6 and May 19.

Led by an experienced Lion instructor, the California Hazardous Waste Management Refresher webinar is designed to help satisfy annual RCRA/Title 22 training mandates for hazardous waste personnel in California. Join us to get up to speed on the latest DTSC requirements, laws, and CUPA interpretations that affect the way your site manages its hazardous waste.

New to Title 22 compliance? Join an expert Lion instructor for the California Hazardous Waste Management webinar on April 21–22 for complete RCRA/Title 22 training.

California more than doubled its penalties for hazardous waste violations in recent years. Compliance errors can now cost facilities up to $70,000 per day, per violation.

Tags: Cal DTSC, California, DTSC, enforcement, fines, hazardous waste, hazardous waste compliance, penalties, Title 22

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