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U.S. EPA settles with Los Angeles plating firm for $43,000 over hazardous waste investigation costs

Release Date: 07/27/2006
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute, (213) 244-1815

LOS ANGELES - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing a $43,000 settlement with Excello Plating, Inc. and the firm’s president, Glen Harleman, for investigation costs surrounding alleged hazardous substance releases from the Los Angeles facility.

Beginning in 2002 the EPA assisted the Regional Water Quality Control Board’s investigation of chromium and other hazardous substance releases from the Excello Plating facility following an inspection by the Board and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control. Excello Plating, Inc. uses cadmium, chromium, nickel, zinc, tin and copper in the metals plating process.

“Because hazardous materials such as sodium cyanide flakes, hydrochloric acid, and cadmium were found at the Excello Plating, Inc. site, removing them from the area became an immediate concern,” said Keith Takata, the EPA’s Superfund Division Director for the Pacific Southwest region. “Together with our sister agencies, we will see that further cleanup of the facility is promptly addressed.”

During an August 2002 inspection, the Board, DTSC and the Los Angeles County Fire Department found five 100-pound containers labeled as chromic acid flakes, a 55-gallon drum of methyl ethyl ketone and hazardous waste debris improperly stored in containers at the facility.

In September 2004, the Environmental Justice and Protection Unit of the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office filed a criminal complaint relating to the hexavalent chromium contamination of the groundwater beneath the facility. As part of a pending $150,000 settlement, Excello Plating, Inc. agreed to cease all operations soon after the criminal complaint was filed, in December 2004.

In August of 2005, another joint inspection was made at the Excello Plating, Inc. site; by then Excello had ceased operations and the site was abandoned. The Regional Water Quality Control Board has issued a cleanup and abatement order to Excello Plating, Inc. and Harleman, as well as the Spirito Family Trust, which owns the property. As a result, above-ground hazardous materials have been contained, removed from the site and properly disposed. Assessment and cleanup of the facility are continuing under the Regional Water Quality Control Board cleanup and abatement order.

Under the proposed settlement, Excello Plating and Harleman are paying $43,000 to the EPA to reimburse the agency for costs related to assisting the Water Board with the investigation of Excello Plating, Inc. facility. The proposed settlement is open for public comment until August 24th.

Located at 4057 Goodwin Avenue, Excello Plating, Inc. is near one of the extraction wells that captures contaminated groundwater from the San Fernando-Glendale Superfund site and delivers it to the Glendale Treatment System. The well has been monitored for elevated levels of contaminants. Excello Plating is one of the named responsible parties in the San Fernando-Glendale Superfund site.

For more information on the San Fernando Valley Superfund sites, please visit:, then click on Site Overviews and then scroll down to the San Fernando Valley sites.

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