BELLEVUE – The Department of Ecology (Ecology) has fined Burlington Environmental LLC (Burlington Environmental) $180,000 for 13 violations of requirements for dangerous waste management at the company’s facility in Kent. The violations occurred between October 2012 and January 2013.
The facility, located at 20245 77th Ave. S., processes dangerous wastes from hundreds of commercial and industrial clients for proper shipment and disposal.
The company came into compliance quickly after the violations were identified.
“This facility has now incurred penalties of just over $1 million over the past 12 years for violating hazardous waste requirements. Those requirements protect the public, the environment and on-site worker safety,” said K Seiler, who manages Ecology’s hazardous waste and toxics reduction program. “Local processing for business and industrial wastes benefits our state’s economy and environment. We want the company to succeed at this, but properly and without violations.”
The violations fell into three general categories:
- Storage of dangerous waste in excess of required time limits.
- Inadequate training and management of supervisors and employees to follow conditions and standards of the facility’s dangerous waste permit.
- Failure to follow procedures required to ensure safe separation of incompatible materials.
The violations included a fire at the facility, which started because incompatible wastes came into contact and ignited.
“Our company has worked cooperatively with Ecology and the community to ensure our waste handling practices are safe and protective,” said Barbara Smith, Burlington Environmental spokesperson. “It is important to note that none of these incidents caused immediate threat to human or environmental health. No workers were injured. We corrected these issues quickly and diligently work to improve our compliance with the rules and regulations that govern our business.”
The company has the right to appeal the penalty to the Washington State Pollution Control Hearings Board within 30 days.
Burlington Environmental has paid $868,000 in penalties or through penalty settlements from 2001 to 2012.
Ensuring proper safety and environmental practices at hazardous waste processing facilities supports Ecology’s priority of preventing and reducing toxic threats to human health and the environment.
NOTE: In Washington (a state with an authorized hazardous waste program) what is defined by the USEPA as a Hazardous Waste is identified as a Dangerous Waste. In addition, Washington’s Department of Ecology (Ecology) has identified “state-only” dangerous wastes which also fit under its definition of Dangerous Waste. Learn more about how to identify and designate Dangerous Waste on Ecology’s website.
Larry Altose, Ecology media relations, 425-649-7009, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dave Misko, Ecology compliance supervisor, 425-649-7014
Barbara Smith, Burlington Environmental spokesperson, 206-605-3392
Hazardous Waste Facilities: (www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/hwtr/hwfacilities/index.html)
Dec. 19, 2012 news release: Kent dangerous waste facility fined $282,000 (www.ecy.wa.gov/news/2012/406.html)
Ecology’s social media (www.ecy.wa.gov/about/newmedia.html)