News Release

T – 17 – 18
Barbara A. Lee, Director

November 1, 2018

Contact: Abbott Dutton
(916) 324-2997

DTSC Files Civil Complaint Against Battery Recycler Quemetco

SACRAMENTO – The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has filed a civil complaint against the Quemetco battery recycling facility, located in the City of Industry, for 29 alleged violations of the California Hazardous Waste Control Law.

“DTSC has attempted to resolve these issues, and although some have been addressed, serious violations remain,” said DTSC Director Barbara A. Lee. “Facilities that process hazardous wastes must handle, store, and treat them in compliance with our laws. DTSC is ensuring they do.”

The violations identified during multiple DTSC inspections include a non-functioning leak-detection system in a containment building that holds hazardous lead waste; failure to construct an adequate groundwater monitoring system; and failure to minimize the possibility of releases of hazardous waste into the environment.

The California Attorney General’s Office filed the complaint on behalf of DTSC in Los Angeles County Superior Court on October 31, 2018.

Other violations include the improper storage of hazardous waste and failure to fix deteriorating structures. The complaint demands Quemetco pay an unspecified amount of penalties, and calls on the court to order the company to comply with hazardous waste laws.

Quemetco holds a permit from DTSC to treat and store hazardous waste and the facility is subject to regular compliance inspections. DTSC is currently reviewing Quemetco’s permit renewal request.

Quemetco, Inc., recycles lead-acid batteries, which involves separating lead from other components, smelting the lead and refining it to meet customer specifications. The facility has been in operation since 1959.

View the Complaint for Civil Penalties and Injunctive Relief.

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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.