Statement on another safety violation by Quemetco: Battery plant failed to maintain a functioning leak-detection system

July 13, 2016

SACRAMENTO – The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) recently added another violation to an already existing list of violations against Quemetco, Inc. The battery recycling facility in the City of Industry in Los Angeles County failed to maintain a functioning leak-detection system in its containment building that houses hazardous waste related to the facility’s handling of lead.

Senator Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) released the following statement:

“By failing to maintain a proper lead leak-detection system, Quemetco has once again risked public exposure to hazardous chemicals in the surrounding community.  As Chair of the Senate Health Committee and a representative for the area, this new violation, added to an already existing list of violations, raises significant concerns for me. This is an issue of environmental justice, and communities like these are far too often disproportionately impacted by pollution and contamination. My office will continue to monitor the situation to ensure the community is made aware of the incident, and I stand prepared to take whatever appropriate actions may be necessary to secure a safer, healthier environment for the residents in the Quemetco plant area.”

List of recent Quemetco violations:

  • August 5, 2015: Facility failed to maintain an adequate groundwater and surface water monitoring system that complies with regulatory requirements.
  • June 1, 2016: Facility inadequately monitored water.
  • June 20, 2016: Facility failed to maintain a proper leak-detection system.

Quemetco must now submit a plan to DTSC to correct the leak-detection system violation, as well as a schedule for completing that work. The affected portion of the containment building must be shut down until Quemetco demonstrates it is back in compliance.

To view the announcement released by DTSC on the leak-detection system violation, please click here.