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Teledyne Ryan Told to Pay $106,000 in Fines in Waste Case

Times Staff Writer

The state Department of Health Services on Wednesday ordered Teledyne Ryan to pay fines totaling $106,000 for violations of hazardous-waste regulations found during an inspection last July.

The violations at the firm’s plant on Balboa Avenue in Kearny Mesa included leaking and open toxic-waste drums, improper waste-treatment operations and paper-work irregularities, according to Paula Rasmussen, chief of the department’s surveillance and enforcement unit for Southern California. Some of the problems also were found in a 1986 inspection, she said.

No Permit for Evaporation

Six open barrels of spent chromic acid solution, a corrosive, were found in the company’s hazardous-waste storage area, Rasmussen said. The barrels apparently were left open to allow the solution to evaporate, she said. The company has no permit allowing it to use evaporation to treat hazardous waste, she said. “That’s not something we have allowed them to do, and it’s not something we encourage.”

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The company has been ordered to discontinue the practice, she said.

Rasmussen declined to speculate on the health hazards to workers or others who might come in contact with the substances or their vapors. Two other open barrels containing hazardous waste solder--mixed acids with chrome--also were found on the site, Rasmussen said. The company was warned about the violations after the July inspection, but the open barrels were found again in a follow-up inspection last December, she said.

One barrel containing trichloroethane, a solvent, was found to be leaking onto a concrete floor in the waste storage area, she said.

Teledyne Ryan Electronics, a military contractor, manufactures sophisticated radar-navigation equipment, including velocity sensors, navigation computers, fiber optic flight control components, altimeters, antennas and electronic test equipment. The plant generates hazardous wastes as part of its electroplating and electrolysis plating process, according to the Department of Health Services.

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Attempts to reach officials of the company late Wednesday were unsuccessful.

Notified Last Week

Rasmussen said the company was notified of the complaint and the proposed fine last Friday and had not yet responded.

The violations were found during a routine, scheduled inspection by the staff of the Department of Health Services, which issues permits for toxic-waste disposal and monitors toxic-waste sites throughout the state.

The paper-work violations found last July included a lack of a written waste analysis plan, Rasmussen said. “Basically, their plant should have a system set up whereby they analyze the waste they produce,” she said.

Also, the company did not have records of its inspection logs required as documentation of required waste inspections, she said.

Both paper-work violations were found during a 1986 inspection at the same location, she said. “One of the reasons for us taking out the order was that these violations have been noted in the past,” Rasmussen said.

With the exception of the open evaporation barrels, the violations had been rectified by the time of the department’s December inspection, Rasmussen said.

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