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6 California companies disclose environmental violations
Release Date: 11/13/2006
Contact Information: Wendy Chavez, 415-947-4248,
Avoid $391,160 in penalties by reporting violations to EPA
SAN FRANCISCO – Six California companies that voluntarily disclosed and corrected environmental violations had penalties waived by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the result of EPA policies that have been successful in getting companies to make good-faith efforts in self-policing their own environmental compliance.
The recent ‘self-disclosure’ cases had potential penalties ranging from $6,000 to $127,000 for environmental violations that the agency determined caused no serious or actual harm to human health or the environment. Altogether, the six companies avoided $391,160 in penalties.
“This is a win for communities, for business, and for the EPA,” said Enrique Manzanilla, the EPA's Communities and Ecosystems Division director for the Pacific Southwest region. “Checking for compliance, promptly disclosing violations found, correcting them, and acting to prevent future violations are the responsible actions for companies to take.”
In the cases announced today, each company discovered the violations on its own and reported the violations to the EPA. Because the companies satisfied all of the conditions of the EPA’s self-disclosure policies and there was no economic benefit gained, the EPA waived potential penalties.
The recent self-disclosure cases include:
Facility Name: Custom Sensors & Technologies Inc. (formerly BEI)
Location: Concord, Calif.
Business: Manufacture inertial systems (gyroscopes) for auto, aerospace, and defense industries
Violations: Failure to report hydrogen fluoride for calendar years 2001, 2003 and 2004; lead compounds for calendar years 2002-2004; and certain glycol ethers for calendar year 2004
Potential fine: $127,189
Facility Name: Sieger Engineering
Location: South San Francisco and Sacramento, Calif.
Business: Precision machine shop
Violations: Failure to report chromium for calendar years 2001-2004 and nickel for calendar years 2002-2004
Potential fine: $125,010
Facility Name: CSL, Inc.
Location: Santa Clara, Calif.
Business: Job shop plating service to semiconductor and biotech industries
Violations: Failure to report nitric acid for calendar year 2003
Potential fine: $6448
Facility Name: Triangle Digital, LLC
Location: Dixon, Calif.
Business: Manufacture printing ink
Violations: Failure to report methyl ethyl ketone and certain glycol ethers for calendar years 2003 and 2004
Potential fine: $41,490
Facility Name: CoorsTek
Location: El Segundo, Calif.
Business: Manufacture plastic components
Violations: Failure to report lead for calendar years 2001-2004
Potential fine: $76,854
Facility Name: Three Bond International, Inc.
Location: Torrance, Calif.
Business: Manufacture adhesives
Violations: Failure to report Di (2-ethyl hexyl) phthalate for calendar years 2001-2003
Potential fine: $14,169
Under the EPA's audit policy, the agency may reduce penalties up to 100 percent for violations that are voluntarily discovered through an audit or management system, promptly disclosed to the agency, quickly corrected, and satisfy other audit policy conditions. The policy excludes criminal acts, violations resulting in serious actual harm to public health or the environment, and repeat violations.
Under the EPA’s small business compliance policy, the EPA will eliminate or significantly reduce penalties for businesses with less than 100 employees that voluntarily discover violations of environmental law and promptly disclose and correct them.
Federal Law requires certain facilities using chemicals over specified amounts to file annual reports to the EPA and the state that estimate the amounts released to the environment, treated or recycled on-site or transferred off-site for waste management. The information is then compiled into a national database called the Toxics Release Inventory and made available to the public.
More information about the audit policy can be found at: https://www.epa.gov/compliance/incentives/auditing/auditpolicy.html. For more information on the small business policy, go to https://www.epa.gov/compliance/incentives/smallbusiness/index.html To find information on the Toxics Release Inventory program visit: https://www.epa.gov/tri. The U.S. EPA's environmental databases, including the TRI data, can be accessed at: https://www.epa.gov/enviro.