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News Releases from Region 09

U.S. EPA requires safer management of hazardous waste at the Naval Air Weapons Station in China Lake, California

10/03/2019
Contact Information: 
Soledad Calvino (calvino.maria@epa.gov)
415-972-3512

CHINA LAKE, Calif. – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with the Department of the Navy for improperly managing hazardous waste at the Naval Air Weapons Station in China Lake. Under the agreement, the federal facility will pay a $23,700 penalty.

“It is critical for federal agencies to comply with laws that protect public health and our natural resources,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “This agreement will bring the Department of the Navy into compliance with hazardous waste laws and help minimize the potential for hazardous waste releases to the environment.”

The Naval Air Weapons Station - China Lake is in the Western Mojave Desert region of California, approximately 150 miles north of Los Angeles. Operations at the facility include research and development of explosive materials and weapons, aircraft maintenance, facilities maintenance operations, metal fabrication operations, and storage of hazardous materials and waste. EPA’s 2018 inspections identified violations of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations. RCRA rules require the safe management of hazardous waste to protect public health and the environment and to prevent the need for costly and extensive cleanups.

Violations identified during the inspection included:

  • Failure to comply with a permit condition that requires deteriorating containers to be replaced or put inside larger containers in good condition at the point of generation.
  • Failure to keep hazardous waste containers closed.
  • Failure to properly manage universal wastes.

The facility has resolved the identified violations and is now in compliance with the RCRA requirements.

For more information on EPA’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Act please visit: www.epa.gov/rcra

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