News Release

T – 14 – 16
Barbara A. Lee, Director


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 11, 2016

Contact: Jorge Moreno
(916) 327-4383
Jorge.Moreno@dtsc.ca.gov

Ardagh Glass Agrees to Pay $3.5 Million for Multiple Violations of
California’s Hazardous Waste Laws

SACRAMENTO – Ardagh Glass Inc. (AGI), a company that manufactures wine bottles, will pay $3.5 million to settle violations of California’s hazardous waste laws, the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) announced today.

A settlement was filed in Fresno County by the California Attorney General’s Office on behalf of DTSC. AGI has agreed to pay $3.5 million for multiple hazardous waste violations discovered during inspections in 2010 and 2011, while the company was owned by Saint Gobain Containers, Inc. The settlement also requires AGI to follow audit practices to ensure that it remains in compliance with hazardous waste laws.

The violations were based on allegations that dust containing lead, arsenic, cadmium, and selenium that exceeded hazardous waste limits was illegally introduced into the manufacture of new bottles at the facility, which is located at 24441 Avenue 12 in Madera. The contaminated dust was collected from air pollution control equipment used to capture regulated pollutants that are emitted from the glass-making furnace. The pollutants would otherwise be released into the environment.

The complaint also alleges that AGI:

  • Illegally disposed of hazardous waste at various locations throughout the facility
  • Illegally disposed of other hazardous waste to landfills not authorized to accept hazardous waste
  • Failed to have a legally mandated contingency plan to deal with spills or other unplanned releases, and
  • Inadequately trained staff to handle hazardous waste at the facility

“Compliance with the hazardous waste law is fundamental in protecting the health of workers and community as well as the environment,” said Keith Kihara, Chief of DTSC’s enforcement division. “We are encouraged that AGI is working with us to take the necessary steps to comply with California’s hazardous waste laws.”

As a condition of the settlement, AGI agreed to take a number of actions designed to prevent future violations. These include hiring an independent auditor to conduct three hazardous waste audits at 18-month intervals. The auditor will prepare and submit reports to DTSC that evaluate  AGI’s ongoing compliance with the hazardous waste laws.

The penalties will be deposited into DTSC’s Orphan Site Fund. The account funds cleanup for sites that are not on the National Priorities List, but where hazardous substances still pose an environmental or public health threat and the responsible parties for the contamination are unknown, unwilling, or unable to pay for the cleanup.

Court documents related to the enforcement action are available online.

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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.