Pilkington North America Inc. has agreed to pay a settlement of $207,723 for alleged violations of hazardous waste laws at its float plant in Lathrop, Calif., according to California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC).
The payment includes $187,975 in civil penalties and $19,748 in reimbursement of DTSC’s costs. The settlement stems from a complaint filed in Sacramento County Superior Court that lists 15 causes of action including illegal storage of hazardous waste, illegal disposal of hazardous waste, failure to have a legally mandated contingency plan to deal with spills or other unplanned releases, and inadequate training of staff who handle hazardous waste at the facility, according to DTSC. The complaint was filed after a 2010 inspection of the Pilkington float plant, which produces float glass for the architectural glass market.
According to the report, DTSC officials say they discovered illegal disposal of hazardous and extremely hazardous waste onto the floors of the facility. “Inspectors found acid spills in the battery recharging area, selenium powder in the raw materials section and used oil on the ground throughout the facility,” writes DTSC.
The report continues, “[Pilkington] also appears to have operated an aerosol can processing device without first obtaining required approval from the local Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA). DTSC found the aerosol can puncturing device improperly stored on a wooden pallet without secondary containment, and employees were allowed to operate the device without proper training.”
Pilkington officials maintain that the allegations were not proven.
“Although none of the agency’s allegations were proven, the company agreed to a $207,723 payment to DTSC to resolve the allegations and avoid litigation,” writes the company in a statement provided to USGNN.com™/USGlass magazine. “[Pilkington] has been located in Lathrop, Calif., for [more than] 50 years and takes its environmental, health and safety responsibilities very seriously. The company is committed to continue working cooperatively with DTSC to ensure compliance with applicable environmental, health, and safety requirements.”