KENT – Washington’s largest hazardous waste processor will pay $39,000 to the Department of Ecology for waste-handling violations that trigger penalties agreed to in a settlement signed earlier this year.
In that settlement, the company, Stericycle/BEI (formerly PSC, operating as Burlington Environmental LLC), pledged major reforms to end ongoing violations.
Stericycle/BEI agreed to undergo periodic audits, subject to Ecology review, for two years at the company’s expense. During audits conducted in September and October 2014, environmental auditors observed violations at Stericycle/BEI’s facility in Kent.
Ecology cited the company for 13 violations that involved staff training, container inspections, and proper labeling of containers with risk information.
In settling a $180,000 penalty issued in 2013, Ecology and the company agreed that certain repeat violations would result in automatic penalties. The current violations triggered $39,000 in new penalties.
“We’re seeing the benefits of having more eyes on site at Stericycle/BEI than Ecology’s own resources allow,” said K Seiler, who manages Ecology’s hazardous waste and toxics reduction program. “This audit program has made rapid progress finding important problems and isolating the causes. This allows the company to develop and implement long-term solutions more quickly.”
Hundreds of manufacturers and other businesses – in Washington and elsewhere in the West – rely on Stericycle for proper treatment, storage and disposal of their hazardous wastes.