Kettleman Hills Facility Compliance

DTSC conducts an unannounced Comprehensive Evaluation Inspection (CEI) every year at the Kettleman Hills Facility (Facility) to determine if the facility is operating in compliance with hazardous waste laws and regulations, as well as the DTSC approved permit.DTSC also evaluates the facility's financial assurance for closure and post-closure care with a Financial Records Review each year.

DTSC conducted at least 16 inspections in the last 10 years, and found violations during two of these.DTSC also followed up on one inspection with a request for records, which resulted in a Summary of Violations (SOV) citing 72 spill reporting violations.

2014 - The most recent DTSC inspections were a groundwater audit in February 2014 and a CEI in March 2014.No violations were found.The Facility self-disclosed a violation in February 2014.The violation involved disposal of hazardous waste that did not meet treatment standards, due to erroneous analytical results from a state-certified laboratory.DTSC action on this self-disclosure is still pending.

2013 - DTSC conducted a CEI in April 2013 and a Financial Records Review in May 2013.No violations were found.

2012 - Through a document request dated June 29, 2012, DTSC found 72 instances where the facility failed to report spills of hazardous waste at the facility.This violation was a repeat from a violation found in a February 2010 inspection.DTSC took enforcement against the facility in 2010 for failure to report spills and for these more recent reporting violations (along with two other violations) in March 2013.The March 2013 enforcement action resulted in a monetary settlement of $311, 194.

DTSC reviewed the circumstances surrounding the 72 small spills that the facility failed to report, including the size, location, offsite consequences, cleanup response, and causes of these spills.Of the 72 spills, the largest spill was estimated at 5 – 8 gallons, and 13 spills were less than a pint.The largest number of spills involved non-RCRA hazardous waste between a quart and a gallon.Most of these spills (60 out of 72) occurred at the sample rack, where the facility samples incoming loads for analysis.During the time frame of these spills (August 2008 – May 2012), the facility received over 54,000 manifested shipments of hazardous waste.The sample rack now has secondary containment, providing additional environmental protection for future spills.

In an inspection in April 2012, DTSC found two significant violations.One was a failure to resolve a manifest discrepancy within 15 days of discovery.The other was the facility's failure to properly treat a shipment of hazardous waste to meet land disposal restriction (LDR) requirements prior to placement in the landfill.There was also one minor paperwork violation for failure to properly complete a waste treatment and disposal form.These violations were also addressed in the enforcement settlement in March 2013.The facility also self-disclosed a similar violation in 2014 which they discovered through their own procedures, and took corrective action to address the violation.

DTSC conducted a Financial Records Review in June 2012.No violations were found.DTSC conducted a groundwater Operation and Maintenance Inspection in February 2012.No violations were found.

2010 - In February 2010, DTSC and US EPA jointly inspected the facility.Both agencies looked at compliance with hazardous waste management requirements.US EPA evaluated compliance with the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (discussed in more detail below), which includes regulation of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).DTSC cited the facility for failure to notify DTSC of spills, as noted above, and finalized an enforcement action on June 14, 2011, which included a $46,000 penalty.

Significant violations cited by DTSC prior to 2003 were reviewed, including the 1988 landfill slope failure, and none were found to merit consideration for denial of the permit modification request.DTSC found that, while of concern, these violations do not represent a repeating or recurring pattern showing an unwillingness or inability to comply, nor that they pose a threat to public health or safety or the environment.

2009 - DTSC conducted a CEI in September 2009.No violations were found.DTSC conducted Financial Responsibility Review in March and October of 2009.No violations were found.

2008 - DTSC conducted a CEI in October 2008.No violations were found.

2007 - DTSC conducted a CEI in November 2007.No violations were found.DTSC conducted a Financial Responsibility Review in March 2007.No violations were found.

2006 - DTSC conducted a CEI in November 2006.No violations were found.

2004 - DTSC conducted a CEI in November 2004.No violations were found.DTSC conducted a Financial Responsibility Review in September 2004.No violations were found.DTSC conducted a groundwater Operation and Maintenance Inspection in June 2004.One minor violation was cited for failure to include "trip blanks" in all groundwater sample shipments.

2003 - DTSC conducted a groundwater Groundwater Monitoring Evaluation June 2003.No violations were found.

Further details on DTSC inspections, and links to inspection and enforcement documents can be found on DTSC's EnviroStor database.

Click here to access additional documents related to the Facility's compliance.

United States Environmental Protection Agency

US EPA also conducts inspections in of the Facility. Information on US EPA inspections may be found on their website.