Renton aerospace parts manufacturer pays $24,000 Ecology fine

An aerospace parts manufacturer in Renton will pay the state $24,000 to settle a penalty from the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) for repeated dangerous waste violations, according to an ecology department press release.

Ecology inspectors found three repeat violations of dangerous waste regulations at AIM Aerospace Inc. in September 2012 and February 2013. Since the inspections, AIM Aerospace has cooperated with Ecology and come into compliance with the regulations, according to the release.

Ecology found the company was disposing liquid paint waste into the trash. It failed to label containers of dangerous waste, and it failed to make sure that containers of dangerous waste were closed.

The facility houses a variety of toxic substances used in the manufacturing and assembling of aircraft interiors. These include flammable paint wastes, some of which contain toxic metals, chrome, corrosive substances and toxic solvents. Health concerns can occur if people are exposed to these substances, according to the release.

"When dangerous chemicals are mishandled, the risk increases that people and the environment will be exposed to potential hazards," said Dennis Johnson of Ecology's Hazardous Waste and Toxics Reduction Program. "Properly managing hazardous substances and wastes helps protect our waterways and Puget Sound from polluted runoff. Rainwater washes spilled substances into storm drains that flow into streams, lakes, or Puget Sound."

AIM Aerospace entered into an expedited settlement agreement with Ecology to reduce the recommended penalty by one-third, from $36,000 to $24,000. The settlement requires AIM Aerospace to waive its right to further appeal the penalty. Ecology used this expedited settlement process in an effort to save the state, taxpayers, and AIM Aerospace the expense of costly litigation.

"Businesses that handle toxic hazardous waste have an obligation to properly safeguard public health, safety and the environment," Johnson said. "We appreciate AIM Aerospace's response to correct its violations and its commitment to remain in compliance."

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