News Release

T – 04 – 13
Deborah O. Raphael, Director


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 27, 2013

Contact: Charlotte Fadipe
(916) 956-2838

DTSC Announces Substantial Fine for Kettleman Facility

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), today announced a fine of $ 291,208.84 against Chemical Waste Management (CWM) facility in Kettleman City. In addition the company is required to reimburse DTSC $19,985.16 for its costs, which makes the total amount CWM must pay DTSC $311,194.00. This substantial penalty is largely due to CWM’s failure to notify the department of 72 spills at the facility during a four year period June 2008-2012.

Chemical Waste Management (CWM) is a commercial California landfill facility permitted to dispose of or treat and store hazardous waste. The facility is located in Kings County, California, in the San Joaquin Valley.

“Our job is to ensure that facilities operate in compliance with the hazardous waste control laws and to hold them accountable when they don’t,” said Brian Johnson, DTSC Deputy Director of Enforcement. “This is a significant fine that underscores our commitment and sends a clear message to communities that DTSC will protect violations of the hazardous waste control laws.”

Based upon DTSC’s review of the facility’s monitoring records and the facility’s documentation, DTSC has no evidence to suggest that any of the 72 spills posed any danger to nearby communities or the environment. The spills mostly occurred in the loading area of the facility and the sampling area. Examples of wastes spilled include lead contaminated soil, herbicides and other chemicals. Proper reporting of these spills provides DTSC with valuable information regarding the safe operation of a facility.

Although the spills were small in volume, CWM’s permit requires that DTSC be notified so that spill cleanup is documented. During a routine inspection in April 2012, DTSC discovered that CWM had created an internal record of spills but had failed to notify the department. CWM’s current permit requires verbal notification within 24 hours of a hazardous waste spill and written notification within 10 days of the discovery of the spill.

Under the agreement (CWM) will pay the total settlement amount within 30 days of the effective date of the settlement. The settlement clarifies reporting requirements that CWM must comply with. CWM also is required to comply with the treatment standards and shipment document requirements it violated.

View the Judgment and Notices of Violation.

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FOR GENERAL INQUIRIES: Contact the Department of Toxic Substances Control by phone at (800) 728-6942 or visit www.dtsc.ca.gov. To report illegal handling, discharge, or disposal of hazardous waste, call the Waste Alert Hotline at (800) 698-6942.

The mission of DTSC is to protect California’s people and environment from harmful effects of toxic substances by restoring contaminated properties, enforcing hazardous waste law, reducing hazardous waste generation, and encouraging the manufacture of chemically safer products.