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Release Date: 3/22/2001
Contact Information: Lisa Fasano, 415-744-1587

     SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that it settled ten hazardous waste enforcement actions with fines totaling $293,924 as a result of hazardous waste investigations conducted as part of the Los Angeles Environmental Justice Initiative, which looks at industrial environmental impacts on minority and economically disadvantaged communities in Los Angeles.  The California Department of Toxic Substances Control also participated in this effort.

     "Facilities that generate and manage hazardous waste must be good neighbors and comply with the law," said Jeffrey Scott, acting waste management director the EPA's Pacific Southwest region. "The EPA must do all we can to protect public health and the environment in the communities where hazardous waste generators operate."

     Ten facilities out of 43 inspected between April 1, 1999 and March 31, 2000 had significant violations warranting enforcement and fines.  Violations cited included:

  •   Failure to report data to the EPA, which impedes the communities' right to know
  •   Insufficient emergency planning and training
  •   Improper labeling and storage of hazardous waste
  •   Storing hazardous waste without permits

     In its first action under this initiative the EPA's hazardous waste division inspected 43 high-priority facilities between April 1, 1999 and March 31, 2000.  Priority was set based on their proximity to schools, violations history, manifest reviews revealing storage violations and waste quantities.  Hazardous waste violations were recorded at 36 facilities, 20 cases were resolved without penalties, the remaining six cases are pending.  None of the violations were an immediate threat to the public or the environment.
     The state Department of Toxic Substances Control, as part of the initiative, conducted inspections from July 1999 through May 2000 at 38 additional treatment, storage and disposal facilities and inspected registered hazardous waste transporters.  Violations were identifed at 24 of these facilities.  Violations found included storage of unauthorized waste, illegal disposal, hazardous releases to the environment, and unauthorized waste treatment.

     "Such violations undermine the objectives of public health and environmental protection established in federal and state law," said Norman Riley, Chief of DTSC's statewide compliance division.

     In 1998, the EPA received a number of complaints from concerned citizens and environmental groups in East and Central Los Angeles regarding the concentration of industrial activity in their communities.  The complaints included concerns with contamination and on- going exposure of children at schools to industrial pollution and resulted in the Los Angeles Environmental Justice Initiative.    

List of facilities cited:

Facility                               City                 Fine
Maran-Wurzell Glass and Mirror     Huntington Park          $60,775
American International             City of Commerce         $18,150
CAL-Doran Metallurgical Servics    Los Angeles              $11,110
Ivy Hill Corporation               Vernon                   $18,360
Fabri Cote Div. of Glass & Fab     Los Angeles             $122,829
Millhorn Chemical                  Maywood                  $10,450
MG Paint Store                     Los Angeles              $10,450
Atlas Galvanizing                  Los Angeles              $10,450
MP Steel/DBA                       Los Angeles              $10,450
West Coast Coatings                Santa Ana                $20,900