West Sacramento ordered to improve hazardous waste training

West Sacramento has been ordered to pay $74,667 in costs and to fund a supplemental environmental project to improve the handling of environmental waste at city-operated facilities.

The order issued by Yolo Superior Court Judge Timothy J. Fall was announced Tuesday by Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig. It came after the parties involved reached an agreement on terms of the sanctions in the hazardous waste case. Under the court order, West Sacramento, as a generator of hazardous wastes, will train employees to recognize hazardous waste and to make determinations on proper handling of hazardous wastes at city facilities, according to a District Attorney’s Office news release.

The judgment resulted from an investigation into issues related to the city’s spill-handling protocols and hazardous waste recognition capabilities during normal operations of city facilities, such as the city’s wastewater treatment plant. Agencies involved in the investigation included the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, the Yolo County Environmental Health Department and the District Attorney’s Office.

“Appropriate employee training when handling hazardous wastes is essential and now has been enhanced at city facilities,” Reisig said in a written statement. “We appreciate the cooperation of city of West Sacramento staff, and their agreement will provide necessary training for local Yolo County businesses and is a significant step toward protection of our environment and public health.”

Prosecutors alerted the city to alleged violations in late 2013 and city staff members were cooperative throughout the investigation, the District Attorney’s Office reported. The city has adopted and implemented new policies, procedures and training programs designed to properly train employees regarding all facets of hazardous waste handling. To implement the supplemental environmental project, the city will fund five years of hazardous waste and hazardous material training for Yolo County businesses.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy