Department of Ecology News Release - February 26, 2018
Syngenta Seeds in Pasco pays $20,000 settlement for mishandling dangerous waste
PASCO – Syngenta Seeds is paying the state to settle violations for improper handling of dangerous waste. The company’s operation in Pasco treats vegetable seeds with pesticides prior to distribution. Last year, an investigation found Syngenta didn’t properly contain the waste from this process, potentially exposing people and the environment to pesticide waste.
In March 2017, Washington Department of Ecology inspectors observed red dust outside the area where the waste is collected prior to disposal. The dust was residue from the treatment process, and was classified as extremely hazardous waste under Washington’s dangerous waste laws.
“When dangerous waste is mishandled, the chances are higher for people and the environment to be exposed to toxic chemicals,” said Karen Wood, section manager for Ecology’s Hazardous Waste and Toxics Reduction program. “Proper handling and disposal is crucial.”
“Adhering to environmental regulations to protect health and safety is a priority for Syngenta,” said Casey Young, site manager for the Syngenta Seeds Pasco operation. “We have improved our administrative processes and addressed Ecology’s concerns.”
The penalty was originally $30,000, but Syngenta entered into an expedited settlement agreement with Ecology to reduce the recommended penalty by one-third to $20,000. As part of the settlement, Syngenta waives its right to appeal. Ecology’s expedited settlement process saves the state, its taxpayers, and the company the expense of costly litigation.
Ecology required the company to immediately correct the violations. Syngenta returned the Pasco facility to compliance.