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News Releases from Region 09

U.S. EPA settlement prompts firm to develop hazardous waste training program for metal finishing industry

Contact Information: 
Soledad Calvino (calvino.maria@epa.gov)

SAN FRANCISCO - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reached a settlement with Lynx Enterprises, a metal finishing firm in Tracy, Calif., for its failure to comply with federal hazardous waste management regulations. The company agreed to pay a total of $28,750 in civil penalty and spend an additional $108,000 to develop hazardous waste training materials.

In October 2010, an EPA inspection discovered that the facility was in violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. In addition to paying the penalty, Lynx has agreed to develop a hazardous waste management training program designed to assist at least 20 metal finishing companies to understand hazardous waste management compliance requirements.

"We are pleased that Lynx Enterprises has adopted an innovative approach to resolve this case," said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA's Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. "The training program will help the metal finishing industry to properly manage hazardous waste to prevent harm to human health and safeguard the environment."

Lynx, via a qualified independent contractor, will also develop a training video that will summarize federal, state, and local hazardous waste regulatory requirements. The video will be available to the California Department of Toxic Substances Control and to 83 local agencies, known as Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPA), for their use and distribution and an internet link to a version of the video will be accessible to the general public within a year.

Additionally, Lynx will meet with 29 metal finishing facilities in the San Joaquin County and South San Francisco Bay areas within two years to review all waste streams to evaluate the potential to reduce the amounts and toxicity of hazardous wastes generated; and describe waste minimization measures that could be implemented.

The violations uncovered by the inspection included: failure to determine if waste generated by the facility was hazardous; storage of hazardous waste for over 90-days without a permit; open containers of hazardous wastes; and failure to provide adequate aisle space for all hazardous waste accumulation containers. In addition, the facility did not have the proper contingency plan for emergencies or adequate hazardous waste management training for its employees.

The inspection was performed as part of EPA Region 9's San Joaquin Valley Strategic Plan to ensure that environmental and health standards are being met. The plan prioritizes air and water quality, enforcement of public health standards and environmental justice in the Central Valley, which suffers from some of the most pressing issues in the region. As part of the enforcement initiative, EPA is dedicated to increase public engagement by helping communities better understand federal, state and local roles in environmental rules, permitting, planning, and enforcement.

For more information on EPA's RCRA, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/laws-regs/index.htm

For more information on the Region's Strategic Plan for the San Joaquin Valley, please visit: www.epa.gov/region9/strategicplan/sanjoaquin.html

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