No issues for waste rules

Newport-Mesa businesses are coping well with new regulations for hazardous materials.

September 18, 2006|By Amanda Pennington

Newport-Mesa businesses are having no problem complying with a new federally mandated form they must fill out when disposing and shipping hazardous waste materials, according to Denise Fennessy, project manager for Orange County's Environmental Health department.

One of the reasons, she said, is the relatively low volume of hazardous materials produced by area businesses.

"Since the changes are only a week old, he [the Newport-Mesa inspector] really hasn't seen any of his businesses that have had to use the new manifest forms yet," Fennessy said. "Businesses are able to store waste, depending on the size and amount of waste, anywhere from 90 to 180 days before they actually have to ship it off."

Companies were required to fill out a form before the new one was released last week, but there are few new components to the form, which was in response to regulations published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last year.


The changes help to standardize the process across the country and change the appearance of the form. The new procedures will include the way the waste is tracked, including when and if it is rejected by the facility it was shipped to, where it would be recycled, destroyed or cleaned. It also serves to track the waste shipped to or from the United States.

The forms will no longer have state-only information fields and the state is prohibited from changing the form, according to a document issued by the State of California's Department of Toxic Substances Control.

An emergency number has been added for businesses.

The Environmental Health department shows up unannounced every year to businesses that produce the hazardous materials to ensure they are properly disposing of what they produce.

"There hasn't been anything done as far as formal enforcement in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach," Fennessy said. "There are a lot of smaller businesses in those cities."

She said many small businesses contract the work out since the amount of hazardous material they produce is slight, including FedEx Kinko's on Newport Boulevard.

"We contract with the 3E Company, and they give us instructions, disposal is different with each thing … they direct us to what we need to do," said Greg Doherty, center manager for Kinko's.

There's hazardous materials used in the printing process, including some inks, Fennessy said.

"It's anything that is, by its characteristic, going to be toxic, corrosive or flammable, so those are the properties of the chemicals that make them hazardous," she said.

Other materials include solvents used in the dry-cleaning process, waste oil, used auto parts, petroleum products and heavy metals.

For more information about the disposal process, call the Environmental Health department at (714) 433-6000.

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