Department of Ecology News Release - May 7, 2015

Ecology and barrel recycler in Seattle settle $80,000 penalty
Company has corrected all hazardous waste violations

SEATTLE – A Seattle industrial barrel recycler will pay $30,000 to the Department of Ecology under an agreement to settle an appeal of a larger environmental penalty.

Ecology fined Seattle Barrel Co. $80,000 in July 2014 for violating hazardous waste requirements at its facility. These included failing to properly identify caustic wastewater as a hazardous waste, which led to its disposal down a sewer drain; missing labels on hazardous waste containers; and lacking secondary containment to prevent the escape of hazardous liquids if a primary container leaks or breaks. 

The company has since corrected all of the violations.

“We appreciate Seattle Barrel’s renewed commitment to practices that will protect the environment and safeguard the safety and health of its employees and the public,” said K Seiler, who manages Ecology’s hazardous waste and toxics reduction program.

In addition to the $30,000 payment, Seattle Barrel agrees to invest up to $15,000 – on efforts beyond state requirements – to help prevent future violations, including: 

“We remain fully committed to compliance with all environmental regulations,” said Louie Sanft, general manager of Seattle Barrel. “The violations were inadvertent and we immediately implemented changes as requested by the Department of Ecology. We will continue to work together to ensure compliance is maintained.”

Ecology will suspend the remaining $35,000 of the original penalty, provided that the facility remains in compliance with state dangerous waste requirements for the next two years. Automatic fines of up to $8,000 per occurrence may occur for repeat violations.

The penalty and settlement are part of Ecology’s broader efforts to reduce and prevent toxic threats to the environment.

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Contacts:

Larry Altose, Ecology communications, 425-649-7009, @ecySeattle

Daylin Davidson, hazardous waste compliance, 425-649-7014