A Woodinville, Wash., painting contractor faces a $10,000 fine from the state Department of Ecology for disregarding an order to correct safety and environmental practices involving the handling of paint waste.
The Department of Ecology said its inspectors documented 38 violations at Laitala Enterprises Corp. in five inspections over the past 11 years. In September 2010, the department ordered the company to make six corrections, but the firm did not reply or file an appeal.
“These are basic safety and environmental housekeeping needs that similar businesses accomplish routinely,” said Julie Sellick, regional hazardous waste and toxics reduction manager at the Department of Ecology’s regional office in Bellevue, Wash. “We recognized today’s economic conditions and afforded Laitala Enterprises ample time and technical assistance to come into compliance. We issue this penalty as a last resort.”
The order included the following directives to the company.
• Properly contain used paint cans, filters and rags in closed, labeled and dated containers.
• Take similar steps for hazardous wastes.
• Provide secondary containment to hold liquid wastes if they leak or spill from their primary containers.
• Promptly and properly dispose of hazardous wastes via authorized disposal firms.
• Make the required annual report on hazardous waste storage and disposal.
• Promptly contact the Department of Ecology to respond to the order and discuss plans to comply with it.
Laitala Enterprises may appeal the penalty to the Washington State Pollution Control Hearings Board.
Mark Laitala, Laitala Enterprises president, said his company had done nothing improper in how it handles waste materials. He said the action is simply the result of being late in filing paperwork.
“We’re not doing anything illegal with regard to waste,” Laitala told Durability + Design. “Obvioiusly, we’re going to be responding” to the Department of Ecology action, he said.
The company’s website says Laitala Enterprises offers wood-finishing and painting services for residential new construction, remodeling, additions, and repaints.