News Releases from Region 09
U.S. EPA requires Southern California Edison to properly manage hazardous waste
SAN FRANCISCO – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a settlement with Southern California Edison for improper management of hazardous waste on Catalina Island. The electric utility company has agreed to pay a $39,127 penalty.
Southern California Edison (SCE) is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, providing electrical power to 15 million people across central, coastal and Southern California. EPA conducted an unannounced site inspection at SCE’s Catalina Island facility in Avalon, Calif., in September 2015 under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).
“In a place as biologically unique as Catalina Island, large quantity generators of hazardous waste like SCE have a special responsibility to run a tight ship,” said Kathleen Johnson, EPA’s Enforcement Division Director for the Pacific Southwest. “The key to preventing an unintended hazardous release is vigilance.”
EPA found that the utility was storing hazardous waste for over 90 days and universal waste for over 1 year without the proper permits. In addition, staff members conducting weekly inspections had not been adequately trained and were not checking the date labels on the waste containers. SCE has since corrected all of the identified compliance issues.
Under EPA's RCRA program, hazardous substances must be stored, handled and disposed of using measures that safeguard public health and the environment. EPA routinely conducts RCRA inspections in its state oversight role.