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U.S. EPA settles with Azusa, Calif., facility to reduce hazardous air pollution

Company will purchase air filtration systems for Los Angeles area school

03/06/2019
Contact Information: 
Margot Perez-Sullivan (perezsullivan.margot@epa.gov)
415-947-4149

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 6, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with Veolia ES Technical Solutions for hazardous waste air pollution violations at its facility in Azusa, Calif. Under the agreement, Veolia will spend more than $161,000 on an environmental project to reduce air pollution at a school in the Los Angeles area and pay a $43,606 penalty.

“Hazardous waste facilities must comply with the law to properly control waste and air releases to protect communities,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “As a result of today’s action, the facility will reduce air emissions by about 50 tons annually, ensuring a cleaner environment and healthier air for the residents of Azusa.”

“This approach directly protects public health and holds violators accountable to the communities where they operate,” said South Coast Air Quality Management District Executive Officer Wayne Nastri. “We are happy to partner, provide expertise and help bring cleaner air to local schools.”

Veolia’s Azusa facility stores, processes, treats, recycles and ships hazardous waste received from off-site sources. EPA’s May 2016 inspections found the company violated federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations and California’s hazardous waste air emission control regulations. These rules require the safe management of hazardous waste, including air emissions, to protect public health and the environment and to prevent costly and extensive cleanups. The company’s violations include:

  • Failure to conduct leak detection monitoring of its equipment;
  • Failure to maintain records of tank inspections, equipment defects and repairs; and
  • Failure to develop and implement a written inspection and monitoring plan for its equipment.

In addition to paying the penalty, Veolia will spend $161,352 on the installation of an air filtration system at a school in the Los Angeles area. This system will reduce exposure to ultrafine particulate matter, black carbon, and fine particulate matter emitted from vehicles on highways near a school. The South Coast Air Quality Management District will work with contractors to verify the performance of the system and training of school staff to ensure their proper operation. The project includes three years of replacement filters, which are expected to remove more than 90 percent of ultra-fine particulate matter and black carbon.  

In response to EPA’s May 2016 inspection, Veolia upgraded air emissions monitoring equipment to detect leaks in a timely manner, conducted additional hazardous waste tank assessments and improved its leak detection and repair program. The company estimates these improvements cost more than $350,000.

An EPA National Compliance Initiative aims to reduce hazardous emissions at waste facilities such as Veolia’s Azusa facility. RCRA requires effective monitoring and control of air emissions from hazardous waste storage tanks, pipes, valves and other equipment. Air emissions from certain types of hazardous waste can pose a range of short- and long-term adverse health effects and seriously impact the environment.

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

For more information on EPA’s National Compliance Initiative to reduce hazardous air emissions please visit: https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/national-compliance-initiative-reducing-hazardous-air-emissions-hazardous-waste

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