Del Monte Fined $190K for Hazardous Waste Storage, Handling Violations

EPA has fined Del Monte Fresh Produce Co. of Kunia, Oahu, $190,000 for hazardous waste storage, handling, and used oil management violations. The agency said that in August 2007 its inspectors found open and unlabeled containers of hazardous waste at the facility and evidence of a release of used oil. Additionally, the inspectors found the facility had stored containers of hazardous waste without a permit and stored hazardous waste for longer than the 90 days allowed by the EPA's hazardous waste storage rules, the agency said. At the time of the inspection, the company had ceased its pineapple growing operations.

According to EPA, the facility also failed to:

  • Have a response plan for hazardous waste and used oil spills and have an emergency response coordinator;
  • Properly manage other wastes, such as lead acid batteries;
  • Keep adequate hazardous waste training records for its staff;
  • Properly store used oil and label the containers; and
  • Respond to releases of used oil, and comply with oil pollution control requirements.
  • "Companies must properly store and handle hazardous waste to protect the community, workers, and the environment," said Jeff Scott, director of Waste Programs for the EPA's Pacific Southwest region. "I am pleased that Del Monte has corrected the violations and that the facility no longer presents a potential risk to human health and the environment."

    EPA's hazardous waste rules require facilities to properly store, label, and seal hazardous waste containers. Facilities must also have trained staff, as improperly stored hazardous waste can potentially spill and pose a risk to workers and the environment. Proper disposal of hazardous waste is required at a permitted disposal site, with the required permits and notifications made to EPA. For information on hazardous waste, visit www.epa.gov/epaoswer/osw/hazwaste.htm.

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