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Scrap Metal Recycler Convicted of Multiple Felonies for Hazardous Waste Violations

Posted on 9/23/2016 by Roger Marks

Last week, the owner of a California scrap metal recycling facility pled guilty to five felony convictions and was sentenced to sixteen months in prison for violations of the State’s hazardous waste control laws and the CA Health and Safety Code (HSC). According to the felony compliant, the facility accepted, handled, and stored hazardous and universal waste, namely cathode ray tubes (CRTs) and home appliances, without a permit.
Storing hazardous waste without a permit from the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) is a violation of HSC Division 20, Chapter 6.5. In addition, the defendant was charged with illegal depositing of hazardous waste in violation of CA Penal Code 374.8(B) and illegal disposal of hazardous waste in violation of HSC 25189.5(B). 

See the full felony compliant here. 

Read DTSC's news release about the conviction here. 

Are CRTs Hazardous Waste?

adding universal waste CRTs to a hazardous waste containerFound in tube-based televisions and early computer monitors, cathode ray tubes (CRTs) can contain lead, zinc, cadmium, copper, and other phosphorus metals. CRT storage and disposal is regulated in some form under both Federal and State hazardous and universal waste requirements.

Facilities that generate hazardous waste in California are responsible for compliance not just with unique, stringent hazardous waste rules found in Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations (CCR), but also provisions of State law found in the Health and Safety Code. California’s environmental requirements are stricter and more complex than Federal US EPA regulations, and understanding the State rules is critical to avoid penalties and, as seen here, even jail time.

What Is Universal Waste?

The US EPA’s RCRA hazardous waste rules provide some relief for certain kinds of common wastes generated by businesses, like batteries, certain pesticides, mercury-containing equipment, and light bulbs or “lamps.” These wastes may be managed outside of some of the more burdensome requirements of Federal and State regulations.

Many states develop unique requirements for universal waste, and keeping track of both Federal and State requirements can be a challenge. California, for example, has expanded on US EPA’s definition of universal waste to include other common wastes—including CRTs and aerosol cans. To read more about how State universal waste rules can differ from the Federal RCRA requirements, read Universal Waste Rules: Not So Universal.

California DTSC released importance guidance regarding universal waste late last year.

Expert Title 22 Training for CA Hazardous Waste Sites

If your site generates hazardous waste in California, knowing the Federal RCRA rules is not enough to ensure compliance. California’s State Health & Safety Code and Title 22 regulations set additional, State-specific requirements you must follow to avoid costly civil penalties, future liability, and even incarceration.

Be confident you know the specific hazardous waste management and reporting rules that apply to industry in California!  At the Hazardous Waste in California Workshop, satisfy your EPA and DTSC training requirement, and get up to speed with the latest laws, rules, and CUPA interpretations that affect your business. Join an expert Lion instructor for the workshop in San Diego on September 26-27, Los Angeles on September 29-30, Bakersfiled on October 3-4, and Oakland on October 6-7. 

Can't make it to a workshop? The same trusted Title 22 training curriculum is now avaialble in an interactive, convenient online course for California generators.

Tags: California, DTSC, hazardous waste, RCRA

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