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Miriam Barcellona Ingenito, Acting Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 20, 2014
DTSC Files Complaint Against the U.S. Army
SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has filed a civil complaint against the United States Army (Army) for numerous violations of California’s hazardous waste control laws at the Riverbank Army Ammunition Plant.
The violations occurred over multiple years at the 173-acre site at 5300 Claus Road in Riverbank. The Army owns the plant which manufactured munitions until May 2009. The munition production created a variety of hazardous wastes that the Army treated in hazardous waste treatment units at the site. The site is a permitted hazardous waste treatment and storage facility.
The complaint, which was filed in Stanislaus County Superior Court, lists 12 causes of action alleging multiple violations that were not corrected for several years despite repeated efforts by DTSC to secure the Army’s compliance. They include:
- Failure to remove hazardous waste from treatment units and to properly decontaminate hazardous waste treatment units after the units received their last volume of waste.
- Failure to repair or remove deteriorated tanks and auxiliary equipment.
- Failure to train the facility staff responsible for overseeing facility operations and compliance with hazardous waste laws.
“Despite repeated efforts by DTSC to have the treatment units properly closed over a period of several years, the Army failed to comply,” said Paul Kewin, head of DTSC’s Enforcement and Emergency Response Division. “In order to ensure that public health and the environment are protected, DTSC expects that all hazardous waste facilities comply with the law, including the U.S. Army.”
The alleged violations were discovered during multiple DTSC inspections of the facility over the past four years.
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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.