The owner of a now-closed metal sign company in Kent faces a $10,000 fine from the Washington Department of Ecology for disregarding an order to properly manage and dispose of potentially hazardous waste at the site.
Ecology inspectors documented numerous issues at a leased business property, vacated in January 2015 by Western Metal Art and Sign, at 1505 South Central Ave. King County’s Industrial Waste Program referred the case to Ecology earlier this year.
Ecology inspectors who visited the property reported seeing:
- 21 drums of unlabeled waste materials.
- Four open containers of waste, two of which were outdoors.
- Dozens of containers of 1- to 5-gallon containers of undesignated waste.
- Absorbent material used on a rust-colored liquid and left on floors throughout a large part of the facility.
- Tanks and totes containing unknown liquids.
In August 2015, Ecology ordered the company to evaluate within 30 days whether waste materials still on the property should be identified as hazardous waste. If so, Ecology’s order directed the company to follow state requirements for storing and disposing of the waste.
The company has not complied with Ecology’s order, and the business owner remains liable for managing the waste even though Western Metal Art and Sign is no longer in business.
“We issue this penalty as a last resort,” said Raman Iyer, regional hazardous waste and toxics reduction manager at Ecology’s Bellevue regional office. “We made repeated requests, and then issued a formal order. Proper identification and management of waste is a basic safety and environmental need for all businesses with waste products.”
Penalties issued by Ecology may be appealed within 30 days of receipt to the Washington State Pollution Control Hearings Board.