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Company penalized for failing to meet hazardous waste storage and management requirements

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with wholesale chemical distributor Univar Solutions USA Inc. over claims of improper management of hazardous waste at its facility in Commerce, California. The company has agreed to pay a $134,386 civil penalty.

“We at EPA take very seriously our commitment to protect all communities from the risks of hazardous waste, and we won’t hesitate to enforce companies’ obligations to properly manage dangerous substances,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. “Compliance with these requirements under U.S. law reduces emissions from hazardous waste sources, which safeguards both human health and the environment.”

Univar is a large chemical company headquartered in Downers Grove, Illinois. Its facility in the city of Commerce engages in wholesale distribution of chemical raw materials, among other activities. The facility is classified as a large quantity generator of hazardous wastes under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

On May 6, 2021, EPA conducted an inspection at the Commerce facility as part of a national initiative focused on reducing hazardous air toxic emissions at hazardous waste facilities. Inspectors found the company violated federal RCRA regulations and California’s hazardous waste air emission regulations. EPA discovered violations including:

  • Failure to make an accurate waste determination
  • Failure to perform a required assessment for the tank holding hazardous waste
  • Failure to meet the applicable air emission standards for the tank holding hazardous waste and the associated equipment

EPA conducts inspections and takes enforcement actions as part of its mission to protect public health and the environment. Univar’s Commerce facility has come into compliance with applicable RCRA requirements since being notified of the violations.

Learn more about the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

Learn more about EPA’s National Compliance Initiatives regarding Hazardous Chemicals, Air, and Water.

Learn more about EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. Connect with us on Facebook and on Twitter.

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