U.S. EPA Orders West Coast Chrome to Study Potential Hazardous Waste Releases at Modesto, Calif., Facility

News Releases from Region 09

04/16/2020

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MODESTO, Calif. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Pacific Southwest Region today ordered the company West Coast Chrome (WCC) to conduct sampling at its Modesto metal finishing facility. The goal of the sampling is to determine whether improper storage and management of hazardous wastes poses threats to human health or the environment.

“Poor management of hazardous waste can release harmful contaminants and impact local communities,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator John Busterud. “Today’s order requires West Coast Chrome to determine whether the facility’s hazardous waste poses a risk so that it can be addressed promptly.”

During a December 2018 inspection, EPA inspectors documented numerous incidents of improperly stored, labeled and managed hazardous waste. The waste includes chromium, methylene chloride and phenol, which are known to be harmful to human health and the environment.

Today’s order requires WCC to develop a plan to determine the nature and extent of hazards posed by the hazardous waste at the facility. The work plan must provide extensive information on the presence, direction and rate of movement of any hazardous wastes within and beyond the facility including the development of a comprehensive soil monitoring plan to ensure contamination is not migrating off-site. The company has 30 days to submit the plan to EPA for approval.

EPA is coordinating its investigation with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control to ensure effective oversight of the facility. 

This enforcement action was carried out under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) – the public law that creates the framework for the proper management of hazardous and non-hazardous solid waste. For more information on RCRA, visit: www.epa.gov/rcra

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