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U.S. EPA, bankrupt former owner of a Los Angeles steel mill enter into Consent Agreement Firm fined $49,390 for improperly storing, handling hazardous waste

Release Date: 7/19/2004
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute, (213) 452-3378

     LOS ANGELES - Precision Specialty Metals, previous owner of a Los Angeles-based stainless steel mill, has been fined $49,390 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for improperly handling and storing chromium contaminated waste salts and acid sludge.
    Precision Specialty Metals has entered into a consent agreement with the EPA for violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act while improperly storing and handling hazardous waste.

    In February, 2002, EPA representatives inspected Precision Specialty Metals, Inc.  Based on that inspection, the agency determined that Precision Specialty Metals had released hazardous waste from a leaky container; failed to properly label 42 hazardous waste containers; failed to properly store waste containers; and lacked proper job descriptions for employees engaged in hazardous waste handling.  
    Subsequent to the inspection, Precision Specialty Metals corrected these violations.
    "It is vitally important that companies be held strictly accountable when managing hazardous wastes.  Responsible companies make it their business to know the law and to ensure compliance at their facilities," said Jeff Scott, Waste Management Division Director for the U.S. EPA's Pacific Southwest region.
    Precision Specialty Metals is currently under Chapter 7 bankruptcy; since this status does not absolve a firm from its legal obligations, the firm will request permission from the bankruptcy court to pay the fine.