Los Angeles Business Journal

EPA Fines Three L.A. Metal Plating Firms

By Howard Fine Monday, September 10, 2012

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday announced fines totaling nearly $200,000 against three local metal plating and finishing companies.

All three facilities are located in the industrial belt along the Alameda Corridor where the effects of pollution are disproportionately higher than in other areas of Los Angeles County.

“The violation of federal regulations at metal finishing companies poses a risk to workers as well as surrounding residents,” said Jared Blumenfeld, the EPA’s Pacific Southwest regional administrator.

AAA Plating and Inspection in Compton agreed to pay $74,000 in fines for failure to treat its industrial wastewater to federal standards before discharge into the Los Angeles County sewer system.

An AAA Plating executive said that to comply with the new EPA standards, the company had to reduce waste sharply and recycle hazardous wastewater. “This costly alternative was seen as the only viable, long term compliance solution to stay in business,” said Brian Ward.

Morrell’s Electro Plating, also located in Compton, will pay $19,500 in fines for the improper management and treatment of hazardous waste. In addition, Morrell’s agreed to spend at least $100,000 to install a sludge dryer that would reduce hazardous waste generated at the facility.

Service Plating Co. Inc., located in the unincorporated community of Florence, has agreed to pay $3,150 for failure to properly label hazardous waste containers at its facility.

Executives with Morrell’s Electro Plating and Service Plating did not immediately respond to requests for comment.