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U.S. EPA and Los Angeles World Airports settle LAX hazardous-waste case

Release Date: 10/2/2003
Contact Information: Mark Merchant, (415) 947-4297

LOS ANGELES -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced it has settled a case with Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) consisting of six violations of federal hazardous waste law discovered at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

LAWA the Los Angeles aviation authority that owns and operates LAX along with Ontario International, Palmdale Regional and Van Nuys airports will pay a $74,635 penalty to resolve the case.

"This action ensures that hazardous wastes will be managed to protect workers and the environment, and I am pleased that LAWA has corrected the problems cited in our action," said Amy Zimpfer, acting director of the EPA's Waste Management Division for the Pacific Southwest region. "We want airport operators and airlines to know that they are responsible for complying with waste management rules, and that EPA is committed to enforcing those rules."

The six violations of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act were discovered by EPA inspectors on Oct. 21 and 22, 2002.

The EPA inspectors found that LAWA:

  • failed to determine if wastes generated in the shooting range vicinity, the flammable product storage area, and the central utility plant were hazardous;
  • did not have some of the required training records and had not conducted required refresher training for the employees who managed hazardous waste;
  • had an incomplete contingency plan;
  • stored hazardous waste without a permit;
  • left containers of hazardous waste open; and
  • transported waste from the shooting range off airport property without an EPA identification number.

The areas where the violations were discovered are not accessible to the public and no passengers were put at risk.

Today, the EPA also announced it has taken a similar action against Continental Airlines for violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act at its maintenance facility at Los Angeles International Airport. The penalty in that case was $20,950.

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