A specialty wood finishing company in Auburn faces a $20,000 state environmental penalty for improperly managing dangerous wastes.

Numatic Finishing Corp. (3126 C Street NE, Auburn) applies lacquer finishes to wood products such as doors, paneling, flooring and moldings. Its wastes include ignitable and toxic solvents and leftover paints that can release harmful vapors or cause fires if not properly managed.

The Washington Department of Ecology issued the fine after observing ongoing violations in seven inspections since 2010. The company corrected the problems each time – including when Ecology issued formal orders in 2004 and 2012 – but repeat violations were found in each new inspection.

Washington’s dangerous waste regulations set standards to protect the public, workers and the environment from releases of potentially harmful waste materials at commercial and industrial facilities. Ecology inspects workplaces that generate dangerous wastes to ensure compliance with requirements for safe handling and storage.

“The goal is to prevent dangerous situations like leaks, spills and fires, but that can only happen when these regulations are consistently followed,” said Raman Iyer, regional manager of Ecology’s Hazardous Waste and Toxics Reduction Program. “Most companies with violations correct them and then stay in compliance. Numatic Finishing must make sure that it stays in compliance, too.”

During the most recent inspection on Jan. 10, Ecology found the company failed to:

  • Determine whether its wastes should be designated as dangerous waste so that the materials could be properly managed.
  • Properly label its dangerous waste containers so employees and contractors could take appropriate safety precautions to prevent or respond to emergencies.
  • Keep minimum aisle space for emergency personnel and equipment.
  • Properly replace and maintain spill and decontamination equipment.

Ecology penalties may be appealed within 30 days to the Washington State Pollution Control Hearings Board.

Scott Schaefer

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