5 California metal finishing companies fined for Clean Water Act violations

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced a settlement with five Southern California metal finishing companies for hazardous waste and Clean Water Act violations.

The EPA discovered the violations during inspections at the facilities, located in the cities of Compton, Paramount, Ontario and Sun Valley in Southern California. Three of the facilities are located along the I-710 freeway corridor, a place known to be disproportionately affected by pollution than other areas in Los Angeles County.

"This multi-year effort in Southern California is part of EPA's commitment to bring environmental justice to residents and workers in communities unfairly burdened by the risks from hazardous waste," EPA regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest Jared Blumenfeld said. "Metal plating facilities, often located close to neighborhoods, must ensure they comply with federal laws to prevent harm to the community and the environment."

According to the EPA Anaplex Corp. will pay $142,000 for violations at its Paramount facility, Barkens Hard Chrome will pay $28,000 to resolve hazardous waste issues at its Compton plant, Bowman Plating Company will pay $9,900 to settle waste storage violations at its Compton factory, Alumin-Art Plating Co. has agreed to a $28,000 fine to resolve violations at its Ontario location and R.L. Anodizing and Plating will settle with a $15,500 civil penalty for violations at its Sun Valley plant.

The plating process metal finishers use to coat industrial-grade metal often generates a variety of hazardous waste, including chromium, cadmium and cyanides, among others. The Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act requires companies to properly manage hazardous waste, while the Clean Water Act regulates discharges of toxic material into waterways.

Environmental consultants can help mental finishers ensure that they are in compliance with all federal and state regulations while conducting typical business operations.