Department of Ecology News Release - March 16, 2015

CH2O, Inc. settles $45,560 penalty for dangerous waste violations
Expedited settlement with Ecology reduces penalties

OLYMPIA – After an inspection found multiple Dangerous Waste Regulation violations, a Thurston County chemical blending and manufacturing facility will pay the state $45,560 in penalties.

In August 2013, Department of Ecology inspectors found 13 violations of dangerous waste regulations at CH2O, Inc.’s facility located south of Olympia. Since that time, CH2O, Inc. has fully cooperated with Ecology to ensure it complies with state regulations. Now Ecology and the firm are entering into a settlement agreement.

During the inspection, Ecology staff found CH2O, Inc. did not properly manage wastes, or take appropriate mitigation actions after spills or discharges within the facility, and didn’t provide appropriate training for its employees. The facility generates toxic, corrosive and dangerous wastes, which if not managed correctly can cause a potential threat to human health and the environment.

The penalty was originally calculated at $68,000, but with the expedited settlement agreement the recommended penalty for CH2O, Inc. waives its right to appeal. The expedited settlement process saves the state and the firm the costly expense of litigation.

“Our inspectors work with all kinds of facilities to prevent toxic threats,” said K Seiler, program manager for Ecology’s Hazardous Waste and Toxics Reduction program. “This agreement recognizes the serious nature of the violations found by our inspectors. It will also be a guide as we work with CH2O, Inc. to ensure the facility’s safe operation in the future.”

“We consider any deviation from regulations relating to health, safety, or the environment to be a serious issue,” said CH2O, Inc. President Tony McNamara. “Over the past several years, CH2O has worked to implement environmental programs that go beyond compliance, and to collaborate with the regulatory community to improve our operations. The discrepancies noted during the recent inspection have been corrected.”

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Contact:

Chase Gallagher, communications, 360-407-6239, @ECYSW