The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday announced settlements with two Southern California facilities for improper handling of hazardous waste.

Bachem Americas Inc., the Torrance subsidiary of Switzerland pharmaceutical company Bachem AG and Crosby & Overton Inc. of Long Beach, will collectively pay more than $130,000 in penalties and emergency response assistance.

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In April 2015, the U.S. EPA inspected Bachem’s manufacturing facility in Torrance. The agency’s inspectors found that the company operated storage tanks containing the hazardous chemicals acetonitrile and trifluoroacetic acid without monitoring the tanks for leaks. Bachem also failed to ensure the containers were closed and properly labeled.

Bachem has agreed to pay a $22,376 penalty and spend at least $29,000 on a supplemental environmental project in support of the Torrance Fire Department’s emergency planning and preparedness efforts.

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The agency inspected Crosby & Overton’s hazardous waste treatment facility in Long Beach in August 2014. Inspectors found the company failed to safely store broken batteries, which contain corrosive hazardous waste. In addition, Crosby & Overton did not properly use and maintain equipment – such as a paint waste pump – and failed to conduct required monitoring to manage hazardous materials and related air emissions. The company has since corrected the violations and agreed to pay a $78,570 penalty.

Requests for comment were made to both companies and neither had responded by press time.

Public policy and energy reporter Howard Fine can be reached at hfine@labusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @howardafine.

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