News Release

T – 24 – 14
Barbara A. Lee, Director

December 18, 2014

Contact: Jorge Moreno
(916) 327-4383

Neutrogena fined for hazardous waste violations at its facility in Los Angeles

SACRAMENTO – The Neutrogena Corporation will pay more than $400,000 to settle a civil action resulting from a Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) investigation of hazardous waste violations at its Los Angeles manufacturing facility.

The California Attorney General’s Office filed the action in Los Angeles County Superior Court and negotiated the settlement on behalf of DTSC. The complaint alleges that Neutrogena treated hazardous waste in the wastewater treatment system without a permit or other authorization from DTSC. The company manufactures cosmetics and skin care products.

“DTSC is committed to protecting all Californians,” said DTSC’s Director Barbara A. Lee. “We will ensure our laws and regulations are enforced, and we will pursue those who violate them.”

The complaint also alleges that Neutrogena:

  • Treated hazardous waste without assessing the integrity of the system or providing secondary containment for associated pipes and sumps, in violation of the state Hazardous Waste Control Law (HWCL);
  • Failed to determine whether filter bags from the waste water treatment system were hazardous and, as a result, disposed of hazardous waste filter bags in the trash;
  • Failed to maintain a closure plan and financial assurance for closure of the wastewater treatment system;
  • Failed to assess the integrity of a hazardous waste storage tank and the drum washer tank; and
  • Failed to maintain adequate aisle space between hazardous waste containers.

“These violations created an unnecessary potential for harm to Neutrogena’s employees and to the environment,” said Reed Sato, DTSC’s Chief Counsel.

DTSC discovered these and other violations after an unannounced inspection in 2010. Neutrogena took corrective actions and returned to compliance in 2010.

As a part of the settlement, Neutrogena may reduce the civil penalty payment by up to $5,000 by sending employees to the California Compliance School to receive training on the HWCL requirements for handling hazardous waste. Neutrogena also agreed to broaden the scope of its waste analysis plan to include waste profiles to be made for new product lines or changes to the production process and equipment or chemicals used in a rinse or maintenance operation.

View the judgment entered by the Los Angeles Superior Court approving the settlement.

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FOR GENERAL INQUIRIES: Contact the Department of Toxic Substances Control by phone at (800) 728-6942 or visit 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.