The Washington Department of Ecology issued the fine to Puget Sound Coatings after multiple inspections since 2008 showed no marked improvement in its compliance history. The most recent violations were found during inspections of the facilities in July and August 2015.
“These were significant violations by a firm we’d expect to see in better compliance, given its experience and knowledge,” said Darin Rice, manager of Ecology’s Hazardous Waste and Toxics Reduction program. “We recognize the corrections the company makes after individual inspections, but those changes don’t seem to last. Many similar firms follow state hazardous waste laws to protect the environment, and Puget Sound Coatings must do so as well.”
Ecology cited the Seattle facility, at 9220 8th Ave. S, for six violations; five were repeat violations from previous inspections. The facility failed to:
- Conduct designation – a process to determine whether dangerous waste criteria apply to waste materials – at eight areas where waste is generated.
- Keep containers of dangerous waste closed.
- Prevent evaporation of dangerous waste into the air.
- Properly label dangerous waste containers.
- Label containers of hazardous waste with an accumulation start date.
- Promptly clean up dangerous waste spills.
The company’s Auburn facility, at 310 44th St. NW, failed to:
- Register the facility as a hazardous waste generator, subjecting it to regulatory oversight.
- Provide hazardous waste training for employees at that location.
- Evaluate waste materials for designation as dangerous waste.
“Puget Sound Coatings is disappointed to receive this fine,” said Hugh LaBossier, the company’s president. “We recognize the importance of diligent adherence to the department’s rules and regulations and strive to be a leader in environmental practices in the industry. We will redouble our efforts to protect public health and our environment. We are and will work diligently to improve our processes, procedures and training where needed, and look forward to continuing to successfully working with Ecology.”
Washington’s dangerous waste law and regulations set standards to protect the public and the environment from releases of potentially harmful waste materials at commercial and industrial facilities. Ecology inspects workplaces that generate dangerous wastes to ensure compliance with requirements for safe handling and storage.
Puget Sound Coatings has the right to appeal the penalty within 30 days to the Washington State Pollution Control Hearings Board.