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Waste facility in Kent settles $180,000 fine

For the Reporter

Burlington Environmental LLC has paid $45,000 to the state Department of Ecology as part of an agreement to settle a $180,000 penalty issued in September 2013 for improper dangerous waste management at its facility in Kent.

The company will devote the remaining $135,000 to a two-year audit program, subject to Ecology's review and approval, of its waste handling, processing and storage practices. Burlington Environmental will submit reports generated by the auditor to Ecology.

Burlington Environmental receives hazardous waste from industrial and commercial facilities throughout the western United States at its Kent and Tacoma facilities. The company processes these wastes for proper disposal at permitted facilities.

"We're pleased they're taking these steps," said K Seiler, who manages Ecology's Hazardous Waste and Toxics Reduction program. "Hundreds of businesses rely on Burlington so they in turn can comply with state and federal hazardous waste requirements. While Burlington corrected its violations quickly, it makes sense for this company to make itself the leader in this area."

"We appreciate that Ecology recognizes and supports our role as an integral part of the state's business infrastructure," said Matt Marra, vice president, Environmental, Health and Safety & Materials Management of Burlington Environmental. "Our Kent facility safely processes more than 100,000 containers of materials each year. We will continue to work cooperatively with Ecology and the community to ensure our waste-handling practices are safe and protective.

"We want to stress that none of the matters addressed in the settlement caused immediate threat to human health or the environment," Marra added. "We continue to work diligently to improve our compliance with the rules and regulations that govern our business."

Ecology has approved the hiring of HDR Inc. of Olympia, to conduct the audits of Burlington Environmental's facility at 20245 77th Ave. S., Kent.

"We expect this audit to lead to changes and corrections," Seiler said, "and we expect to review proposals that implement the auditor's recommendations. We also reserve the option to take further compliance actions if the audit identifies additional violations."

Under the settlement, Burlington Environmental does not admit to any violation, and both parties avoid the cost of litigating an appeal of the penalty.

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