Coatings Plant Fined for Hazwaste Issues, Goes Out of Business

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has fined Los Angeles-based Kop Coat Inc. $126,000 for violating hazardous waste requirements of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. During a 2007 inspection of the facility, investigators found that the manufacturer of industrial coatings had multiple hazardous waste violations. According to EPA, the plant is no longer manufacturing.

"Hazardous waste-generating companies such as Kop Coat Inc. must follow all federal regulations to protect their employees, surrounding communities, and the environment," said Rich Vaille, associate director for the Waste Management division in the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. "Proper storage, handling, and preparation for emergencies involving hazardous waste are critical responsibilities for all firms, regardless of their size."

According to EPA, the company was guilty of storing hazardous waste without a permit and failed to meet emission standards for tanks and containers, provide an internal communications or alarm system capable of furnishing immediate emergency instruction to facility personnel or local first responders, perform weekly inspections, and properly provide and maintain personnel training.

During the 2007 inspection, EPA staff found acetone and toluene being stored improperly at the facility. The agency noted that exposure to such solvents can affect breathing and cause vomiting.

EPA's hazardous waste rules require facilities to properly store, label, and seal hazardous waste containers. Facilities must also have properly trained staff, as improperly stored hazardous waste can potentially spill and pose a risk to workers and the environment.

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