Any business that must deal with hazardous waste may face considerable fines if they do not remove and dispose of it properly and legally. Recently, the Department of Health & Human Services in Humboldt County issued fines to four separate businesses for their failure to comply with storage and disposal standards.
- Antich Automotive, Eureka: $6,080 in fines for waste oil spill
- Figas Construction, Arcata: $14,000 in fines for illegal transportation of hazardous waste
- Hoopa Valley Ready-Mix, Willow Creek: $7,835 in fines for failure to comply with standards
- Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Loleta: $1,684 in fines for hazardous waste spill
In the case of Antich Automotive, they were fined for a waste oil spill that emanated from one of their indoor tanks. Because the company did not fully comply with its own response and reporting policies, they were subsequently fined. For Figas Construction, the mishandling of hazardous substances included not handling or transporting the substances safely.
An investigation revealed that Hoopa Valley Ready-Mix was discharging cement wastewater off their location. By not reporting or complying with county standards, they were fined for their actions. Pacific Gas & Electric Company reported a spill in 2016 from a transformer that was on a dairy ranch. The fines came about because the company did not properly maintain their equipment.
While the fines themselves may seem rather small on the surface, the overall total was nearly $30,000 and the fines are only going to grow over time. The combination of environmental interests, impacts on the economy, and vigor in which many county administrations are pursuing businesses that handle hazardous waste means more fines are on the way.
Ongoing incidents may also rack up penalties that build each day until the issue is fully addressed. Fines from $5,000 up to $25,000 per day and per violation fall within the power of county authorities to enforce. The importance of businesses to address such issues before they grow out of control may be paramount to their own financial health.
How Businesses Should Handle Hazardous Waste
When any contamination is detected, the first step is to report it to the proper authorities and devise a plan to clean up and correct the issue. If the business follows local, county, and state standards, then a spill, for example, will not be fined if the company reports, creates a plan of action, and addresses the issue in a timely manner. This means that companies will need to have proper storage facilities and plans of action in case the worst should occur.
It is clear from the rise of litigation over the improper disposal of hazardous waste that your business should use the proven services of Brickley Environmental. You can call on our experts to inform you of the legal standards, provide proper disposal services, and answer your questions about this growing issue. Protect your business by calling Brickley Environmental today for proper disposal of hazardous waste material.