A Ballard furniture-stripping business is facing an $82,200 fine by the Department of Ecology for improperly storing and disposing of hazardous waste.
On two dates in May of last year the Department of Ecology, Seattle Public Utilities and the King County Wastewater Treatment Division’s Industrial Waste program investigated several possible violations at a now-closed business called Furniture Spa (4813 8th Ave NW). The same owners own Ballard Refinishers and the former Furniture Spa location is now an annex of that business.
According to a release from the Department of Ecology, “City inspectors called in Ecology almost a year ago after finding that furniture-stripping waste put down the drain into the sewer. Some of the waste leaked into the ground from a damaged private sewer that connects to the city sewer.”
From the release:
Hazardous waste violations found during Ecology inspections include:
* Improper storage: Furniture Spa used a floor sump (a paved pit) as storage for waste methylene chloride used in furniture stripping. The sump did not meet storage tank requirements for hazardous wastes, and the company provided no secondary containment system to hold spills or leaks of liquid waste. Waste remained in the sump more than 90 days, the maximum time allowed under state and federal hazardous waste laws.
* Failure to designate hazardous waste: State and federal law require businesses to assess their process wastes, identify those that are hazardous – a process called designation – which determines proper storage, handling and disposal. Furniture Spa had not designated wastes from work areas that used methylene chloride, sodium hydroxide, soy-based solvents and the contents of the floor sump.
* Illegal disposal: Furniture Spa discharged waste from the floor sump into the sanitary sewer. Disposal to the sewer requires a discharge permit from the King County Wastewater Treatment Division.
* Failure to notify: A business that generates 220 or more pounds of hazardous waste must notify Ecology. The agency found records indicating that Furniture Spa shipped dangerous waste through a licensed dangerous waste disposal contractor by falsely identifying itself as exempt from this reporting requirement.
The Department of Ecology’s Toxic Cleanup Program has placed this location on the list of “Confirmed and Suspected Contaminated Sites” for contamination that entered soil and groundwater from the damaged side sewer line.
The company has 30 days to appeal the penalty.