SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Jan. 29, 2015) — The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has issued eight violations of state hazardous waste laws against automobile battery maker and recycler Exide Technologies.
Violations were discovered during recent facility inspections at a lead battery recycling plant in Vernon, Calif., the company operates.
Among the most serious violations observed by DTSC inspectors, according to the agency, was treatment of contaminated sludge in tanks that Exide is not authorized to operate at the Vernon facility. Inspectors also found evidence the company “has failed to sufficiently protect against spills in an area where it stores materials including battery acid.”
DTSC's eight violations are described in a Summary of Violations issued to Exide on Jan. 28. The findings are the result of a joint inspection team of DTSC and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency inspectors on Jan. 20 and 21, and oversight activities on Dec. 12, 2014. The DTSC said the two-day evaluation of the operations is part of the agency's oversight of the facility and its review of Exide's application for a hazardous waste permit.
The agency said it has directed Exide to “protect public health by immediately stopping all violations.”
Within 10 days, the company also is required to submit documentation that the violations have ceased. Exide faces potential penalties and the possibility of additional enforcement actions for the violations, the DTSC said, and will face increased penalties if it fails to fully comply.