Department of Ecology News Release - April 18, 2012

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Anacortes yacht builder fined $48,000 over hazardous waste

BELLEVUE – An Anacortes yacht builder faces a $48,000 Department of Ecology (Ecology) fine for failing to properly store and dispose of hazardous wastes. An accompanying order requires specific steps the company must take to come into compliance.

Ecology acted after repeatedly finding Northern Marine Yacht Sales LLC and New World Yacht Builders LLC (Northern Marine), 310 North 34th Street, in violation of state and federal dangerous waste requirements.

“By avoiding the costs of complying with the dangerous waste laws, Northern Marine gained an unfair advantage over the many firms that do comply,” said K Seiler, who manages Ecology’s Hazardous Waste and Toxics Reduction program. “More importantly, improper handling and disposal of dangerous waste places the community and environment at an unnecessary risk.”

Northern Marine saved nearly $15,000 by not complying with the regulations, according to Ecology calculations. Ecology inspected the facility and offered assistance three times over eight months, but the company failed to bring itself into compliance.

“This penalty could have been as high as $84,000, because we saw violations at each of the three inspections,” Seiler said. “Instead we counted each violation just once. We also lowered the penalty by $9,000, under our policy for small business consideration.”

Ecology responded in July 2011 to a complaint of improperly stored hazardous waste containers at Northern Marine. Inspectors documented 13 violations, and directed the business to take corrective actions, but received no response.

In an October 2011 follow-up visit, Ecology found three of the violations corrected, but noted four new ones. In January 2012, inspectors noted one corrected violation and one new one.

Ecology’s penalty cites Northern Marine for violating four categories of state and federal hazardous waste laws:

Ecology’s order includes a 60-day deadline to correct the waste-handling violations. Northern Marine also must appoint and train an emergency coordinator, provide hazardous waste training to other employees and managers, and submit a written training program and plan.

Within 30 days Northern Marine must pay the penalty or may appeal it to the Washington State Pollution Control Hearings Board.

Enforcement of hazardous waste laws supports Ecology’s initiatives to reduce toxic threats and protect Puget Sound.

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(Editors: The single letter K is the full and correct spelling of Ms. Seiler’s first name.)

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