Southern California Edison (SCE) reached a settlement for improper management of hazardous waste on Catalina Island, federal officials said.
The electric utility agreed to pay a $39,100 penalty to resolve allegations it was storing hazardous waste for more than 90 days and universal waste for over a year without the proper permits, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
EPA conducted an unannounced site inspection at Edison’s Catalina Island facility last year under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
“In a place as biologically unique as Catalina Island, large quantity generators of hazardous waste like SCE have a special responsibility to run a tight ship,” EPA Pacific Southwest Enforcement Division Director Kathleen Johnson said. “The key to preventing an unintended hazardous release is vigilance.”
Regulators also found Edison staff members conducting weekly inspections had not been adequately trained and were not checking the date labels on the waste containers. The utility has since corrected all of the identified compliance issues, Johnson said.
Under federal regulations, hazardous substances must end up stored, handled and disposed of using measures that safeguard public health and the environment.