A Madera wine-bottle manufacturer has agreed to pay state authorities $3.5 million to settle allegations that it introduced chemicals exceeding hazardous limits into the bottle-making process and illegally disposed of waste, the Department of Toxic Substances Control announced Thursday.
Ardagh Glass Inc., at 24441 Avenue 12, also agreed to implement procedures that would prevent future violations. It will hire an independent auditor to conduct three waste audits every 18 months to evaluate the company’s compliance with hazardous waste laws. The company did not return a phone call seeking comment.
“Compliance with the hazardous waste law is fundamental in protecting the health of workers and community as well as the environment,” said Keith Kihara, chief of the department’s enforcement division. “We are encouraged that AGI is working with us to take the necessary steps to comply with California’s hazardous waste laws.”
The violations were discovered during inspections in 2010 and 2011 when the company was owned by Saint Gobain Containers. Contaminated dust with high levels of lead, arsenic, cadmium and selenium was collected from air pollution control equipment used to catch pollutants from the glass-making furnace, the department said.
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Other offenses include: illegally disposing hazardous waste in the facility and to landfills not authorized to accept hazardous waste; failure to have a legally mandated contingency plan to deal with spills or unplanned releases; and inadequately trained staff.
The money will go into the department’s Orphan Site Fund, which pays for cleanup of properties not on the National Priority List, where hazardous substances pose an environmental or public health threat and the owner is unable or unwilling to pay for cleanup.