California Company Ordered To Pay $450,000 For Cleanup

EPA announced on May 23 it recently ordered Advanced Packaging and Products to pay for a cleanup estimated to cost $450,000 that will address hazardous substances released onto the property following a January fire at the paint company's facility in Carson, Calif., that killed the plant manager and severely burned two employees.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department put out the fire at the paint and automotive liquids blending and packaging firm. The Fire Department's Health Hazardous Materials Division then began cleaning up the site before requesting the EPA's assistance. EPA officials discovered more than 400 hazardous substances containers at the site, ranging from 5 gallon cans to a 5,000 gallon tank, containing isopropyl alcohol, toluene, xylene and other flammable materials.

Xylene is a flammable solvent that may result in disturbed vision, dizziness, tremors, cardiac stress and coma. Toluene also is a flammable solvent that may cause nose and eye irritation, muscle fatigue and liver and kidney damage.

Abandoned drums of an ethanol solution inside the warehouse. "The potential health threats to neighborhood businesses and residents require a fast, effective cleanup. We expect the company to clean up all hazardous substances, contaminated materials and chemical runoff left behind by this tragic fire," said Keith Takata, director of EPA's Superfund program in San Francisco.

For additional information on EPA's order, visit the agency's Region 9 Web site at http://www.epa.gov/region09.

For more information on the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, visit http://www.epa.gov/superfund/action/law/cercla.htm.

This article originally appeared in the 05/01/2006 issue of Environmental Protection.

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