MARTINEZ (CBS SF/BCN) — The Pittsburg-based steel manufacturer USS-UPI agreed to pay $4 million in fines this week in a settlement deal over a series of hazardous waste violations going back to 2017, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.
County health investigators found more than a dozen violations at the company’s Loveridge Road facility involving the maintenance, storage and disposal of hazardous materials.READ MORE: Fawn Fire Update: 'I See My Life Gone'; Thousands Forced To Evacuate; Arson Suspected As Blaze Burns Homes
The company was cited for failure to maintain and operate the facility to minimize the possibility of fire explosions or unplanned release of hazardous waste, not having adequate safety plans in place, and not adequately training employees in safety procedures.
Some of the materials being improperly stored included oil, plating solutions, and acidic and caustic solutions.READ MORE: Berkeley Police Searching For Suspect Who Attacked Cal Student
“It is of vital importance to hold our companies responsible for the unlawful maintenance, storage and disposal of hazardous materials and waste,” District Attorney Diana Becton said in a statement. “USS-UPI was cooperative throughout our investigation and this settlement was only reached after verification that USS-UPI had corrected the violations and created and implemented an environmental compliance framework.”
Of the settlement, $1.75 million will be civil penalties, $1 million goes to environmental compliance, $250,000 for supplemental projects promoting training for California environmental agencies and funding to support the “Health Career Pathways Programs.”
USS-UPI must also abide by an injunction and be subject to a suspended penalty of $1 million to ensure future compliance. It must also reimburse the county for investigation costs.MORE NEWS: UPDATE: Early Morning Crash Shuts Down Lanes On San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge
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