Dec. 7 US: EPA Fines California Waste Dump for Soil Contamination

Posted Date: 
Tuesday, December 7, 2010

From: Fair Warning

The Environmental Protection Agency has hit the owner of a rural Central California toxic waste dump with penalties of roughly $300,000 for mishandling carcinogenic polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs.

The Kettleman toxic waste plant, which belongs to Chemical Waste Management Inc., was ordered to clean up soil next to the plant in July to reduce the PCB content to 50 parts per million or less. However, followup tests revealed that the PCB level remained at roughly 440 parts per million, which places the company in violation of the Toxic Substances Control Act...Exposure to PCBs can cause cancer, provoke liver damage and harm the nervous system.

The plant is the only one in California authorized by the federal government to handle PCBs, and last year treated more than 4,000 tons of waste loaded with the chemical. Despite the fine, the Kettleman plant is still allowed to handle PCBs. EPA officials said the company has paid the $300,000 fine, cleaned up the contamination and modified its practices.

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