Department of Toxic Substances Control Levies Wrist Slap Fine on Chemical Waste Management Landfill Operator in Kettleman City

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SANTA MONICA, CA –Consumer Watchdog today said that the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) levied a paltry fine of under $300,000 onto Chemical Waste Management – operator of the Kettleman Hills hazardous waste landfill – for failing to notify the department of 72 spills of hazardous waste over a four-year period. “The DTSC could have charged the company $25,000 for each spill and fines would have totaled $1.8 million,” said consumer advocate Liza Tucker. “Instead, we see another break for a serial violator of hazardous waste laws.”
Tucker said that the spills justify revoking Chemical Waste Management’s permit altogether. “Their permit comes up for renewal this June and the DTSC should be telling them ‘forget it’ based on their blatant disregard for the community in which they operate and their terrible history of noncompliance with environmental laws.”
The DTSC has the right to deny or revoke any permit where a hazardous waste generator’s violation or noncompliance shows a repeating or recurring pattern or may pose a threat to public health or the environment. “Based on Chemical Waste Management’s history of repeated violations, it deserves to lose its license,” Tucker said.

Chemical Waste Management's violations of environmental laws include a settlement with the DTSC and CAL EPA for $1 million dollars for not properly treating waste before disposal for five years. US EPA also fined the company $46,000 last year for failing to report two spills. Read more here:

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Liza Tucker
Liza Tucker
Liza Tucker is a consumer advocate for Consumer Watchdog, following everything from oil and gas to the regulation of toxic substances in the state of California. She comes to us from Marketplace, the largest U.S. broadcast show on business and economics heard by ten million listeners each week on 400 radio stations. Liza worked at this public radio show for a decade, first as Commentary Editor and then as Senior Editor for both Washington and Sustainability News.

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