Department of Ecology News Release - November 23, 2015

Emerald Services, Inc. settles $167,000 in penalties for spills

TACOMA – The Washington Department of Ecology and Emerald Services, Inc., a used oil re-refinery and hazardous waste management facility in Tacoma, have settled two penalties for spills in 2013 and 2014 that totaled $167,000.

The first penalty was for $68,000 after two spills of fuel oil/asphalt flux, one in October 2013 which injured a worker, and another in January 2014. The second penalty was for $99,000 for a pair of spills in December 2014, one caused by an overflow at a dangerous waste tank and the second involving a spill of dangerous waste solvent. Ecology has investigated more than 19 separate incidents reported by Emerald since Feb. 2014.

Emerald appealed both penalties to the Pollution Control Hearings Board, which combined them into one appeals case. The settlement agreement resolves the case, with Emerald agreeing to pay a total penalty of $133,000.

“For companies whose job it is to handle other people’s dangerous waste, it’s critical to do so safely and without fail, and Emerald agrees with that expectation” said Darin Rice, program manager for Ecology’s Hazardous Waste and Toxics Reduction program. “We expect a strong compliance effort from them moving forward.”

Contacts:

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