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EPA takes action against Del Monte Fresh Produce to protect community, workers from hazardous waste Company fined $190,000 for improperly stored and handled hazardous waste

Release Date: 09/25/2008
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov

(09/25/08) HONOLULU -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today fined Del Monte Fresh Produce Co., a Kunia, Oahu, fruit grower, $190,000 for hazardous waste storage, handling, and used oil management violations.

In August 2007, EPA inspectors found open and unlabeled containers of hazardous waste at the facility and evidence of a release of used oil.

“Companies must properly store and handle hazardous waste to protect the community, workers and the environment,” said Jeff Scott, director of Waste Programs for the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “I am pleased that Del Monte has corrected the violations and that the facility no longer presents a potential risk to human health and the environment.”

Additionally, the EPA found the facility had stored containers of hazardous waste without a permit and stored hazardous waste for longer than the 90 days allowed by the EPA’s hazardous waste storage rules. At the time of the inspection, the company had ceased its pineapple growing operations.

The facility also failed to:

* have a response plan for hazardous waste and used oil spills and have an emergency response coordinator;
* properly manage other wastes, such as lead acid batteries;
* keep adequate hazardous waste training records for its staff;
* properly store used oil and label the containers; and
* respond to releases of used oil, and comply with oil pollution control requirements.

The EPA’s hazardous waste rules require facilities to properly store, label and seal hazardous waste containers. Facilities must also have trained staff, as improperly stored hazardous waste can potentially spill and pose a risk to workers and the environment. Proper disposal of hazardous waste is required at a permitted disposal site, with the required permits and notifications made to the EPA.

For information on hazardous waste, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/osw/hazwaste.htm

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