$17 million in fines proposed for Dominguez Channel warehouse runoff

The owners and operators of a Carson warehouse that leaked chemicals into the Dominguez Canal after a fire last year and left a noxious odor in the area for weeks could face $17 million in state penalties, regulators said this week.

If approved in October, the penalties against makeup companies Day to Day Imports Inc. and Virgin Scents Inc. and property owners Prologis and Liberty Property LLP would be the largest imposed by the state Water Resources Control Board.

Alleged violations by the companies include discharges of polluted water and hazardous materials, failure to comply with cleanup and sanitation orders, and failure to obtain a discharge permit.

Prologis said in a statement that company officials “strongly dispute any suggestion by the Regional Board that Prologis and Liberty, as property owners, failed to take appropriate action following the Sept. 30 fire,” and denied any wrongdoing.

“Neither Prologis nor Liberty caused the fire,” the company said. “Nonetheless, in the days following the fire, after tenant Day to Day failed to clean up the fire debris, Prologis and Liberty stepped forward to clean up the debris and prevent stormwater runoff.”

The penalties stem from a fire that broke out at the warehouse on September 30 and sent the discharge of hundreds of pallets of hand sanitizer and other chemicals down the drain.

The companies occupying the space had previously been subpoenaed for fire code violations and hazardous materials before the fire.

It took firefighters three days to put out the flames, sending millions of liters of water and debris down the storm drains leading to the canal.

Shortly thereafter, residents of Carson reported a foul smell, reminiscent of vomit or rotten eggs, emanating from the canal. The odor caused nausea and headaches for residents, many of whom temporarily lived in hotels outside of it.

In January, Los Angeles County filed a lawsuit accusing Prologis and the makeup companies of negligence related to the fire and discharge.

The county claimed that the companies knew about the fire code and hazardous materials violations but failed to correct them.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-07-15/fines-proposed-for-dominguez-channel-warehouse-fire-odor-in-carson $17 million in fines proposed for Dominguez Channel warehouse runoff

Alley Einstein

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