State fines a Tacoma Tideflats waste-treatment company $14,000

A Tacoma waste treatment plant has been fined $14,000 by the Washington Department of Ecology for violations of its treatment, storage and disposal permit.

Ecology fined Burlington Environmental, LLC/Stericycle, which operates a Tideflats facility at 1701 E. Alexander Ave., for failing to follow permit requirements for analyzing waste that is treated on site, according to a department release this week.

The company began using a test method without going through the proper procedures to modify its permit, the department said.

Burlington Environmental, LLC/Stericycle employees also modified the test method that would have resulted in treated waste being correctly identified for appropriate storage and disposal. Current regulations require test methods be used without deviation to ensure all waste is properly identified and secured.

Burlington Environmental, LLC self-reported the violations during an Ecology investigation into a spill that occurred during waste transportation.

Burlington Environmental, LLC/Stericycle is an authorized handler of toxic waste. Once informed of the violations, it ceased using the modified method and began using a third-party laboratory to test the treated waste.

"We're pleased that they responded to our concerns and are committed to working with us to safeguard the community," said Ava Edmonson, who manages Ecology's Southwest Region Hazardous Waste and Toxics Reduction program.

The News Tribune was unable to contact a Burlington spokesman late Wednesday morning.