The state of Washington’s Department of Ecology has fined Stericycle-Tacoma $1.9 million for “mismanagement and other problems” that led to a 2018 fire.
According to The Seattle Times, the fine is the result from an investigation into a July 2018 fire ignited by a chemical used to inflate vehicle airbags. State officials allege the chemical was improperly handled by facility staff.
The Seattle Times also reports that in a statement, a Stericycle spokesperson said the company “takes environmental health, safety and compliance very seriously” and has “aggressively pursued improvements” that include investments in new training, new equipment and the hiring of new leadership at the Tacoma facility.
The Seattle Times has more information:
A Tacoma hazardous-waste facility has been hit with a $1.9 million state Department of Ecology fine for mismanagement and other problems that led to a 2018 fire.
The fine announced Monday against Stericycle-Tacoma is the fourth largest ever levied by the Ecology Department. It largely results from an investigation into a July 2018 fire ignited by tetrazole, a chemical used to inflate vehicle airbags that state officials said was improperly handled by the facility staff.
“People could have been injured or killed by Stericycle’s mismanagement of these dangerous materials,” said Maia Bellon, Ecology’s director. “They are required by law to meet strict permit conditions. This incident shows a complete disregard for the safety of their employees and nearby communities, and that’s totally unacceptable.”