EPA fines metal plater $100,000 for hazardous waste violations

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fined TMW Corporation $100,000 for violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

The violations were discovered at the company’s facility, Crown Chrome Plating, a Division of TMW Corporation, during an inspection conducted by EPA in April 2009. The facility primarily does metal plating for the aerospace industry.

“The toxic wastes and sludges at the Crown Chrome facility have the potential to pose a danger to employees, the surrounding community and the environment,” said Jared Blumenfeld, the EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest.

TMW Corporation generated multiple hazardous wastes including, paint wastes, alkaline and acidic corrosive liquids, and sludges containing heavy metals such as chromium and lead. These hazardous wastes, and the waste handling violations associated with them, are typical of those produced by metal plating shops, which are often the target of EPA enforcement actions.

The federal hazardous waste regulations require companies to properly manage hazardous waste to prevent harm to human health and the environment. EPA discovered the following violations at TMW Corporation’s facility:

  • Storage of hazardous waste for over 90 days without a permit;
  • Failure to conduct required inspections;
  • Failure to train personnel or maintain training records;
  • Failure to maintain required emergency communications equipment; and,
  • Failure to make a hazardous waste determination.

As a result of this enforcement action, TMW Corporation has returned to compliance with federal law and will pay a fine of $100,000.

EPA’s hazardous waste rules require facilities to properly store, label and close hazardous waste containers. Facilities must also have properly trained staff, as improperly stored hazardous waste can spill and pose a risk to workers and the environment.

Federal, state and local regulatory agencies have formed a Los Angeles Enforcement Collaborative to focus resources over a multi-year effort to ensure that businesses and industries in this area are complying with environmental laws. EPA is partnering with several state and local agencies under this collaborative including Cal/EPA, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, and the California Air Resources Board as well as local non-profit organizations to improve environmental and public health conditions in Los Angeles communities.