Laundry Company Fined for Mismanaging Hazardous Waste

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fined a commercial industrial laundry company $425,000 on Monday for hazardous waste management violations at two of the company’s facilities located in Northern and Southern California.

The EPA inspected the G & K Services facility in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., in February 2007 and the Pittsburg, Calif., facility in March, and found that the company failed to control air emissions, among numerous other hazardous waste management requirements.

“This is a large fine because these facilities had significant hazardous waste management problems,” said Jeff Scott, the EPA’s Waste Management Division director for the Pacific Southwest region. “Controlling air emissions is important in protecting air quality, and the EPA is committed to aggressively enforcing safe hazardous waste handling requirements, including air emission controls.”

The Minnetonka, Minn.-based company is a commercial industrial laundry, with over 145 locations in 32 states. The Pittsburg and Santa Fe Springs facilities generated hazardous wastes from the cleaning of solvent contaminated rags. The two locations were not controlling air emissions from the solvent recovery process. The facilities are also large quantity generators of hazardous wastes, including waste solvent, volatile organics -- benzene, chloroform, and trichloroethylene -- used oil, used oil filters, spent fluorescent lamps, and spent antifreeze.

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act require facilities to properly manage hazardous waste to prevent accidental release, which would pose a risk to workers and the environment. A complete contingency plan assists workers and emergency responders in the event of an emergency.

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