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Tacoma radiator shop fined $40,000 for not fixing hole leaking toxins into ground

Post by Stacia Glenn / The News Tribune on March 7, 2013 at 2:15 pm with No Comments »
March 7, 2013 2:15 pm

A Tacoma radiator shop has been fined $40,000 for ongoing “dangerous waste violations,” according to the state Department of Ecology.

Performance Radiator, at 2705 South Tacoma Way, is working to fix a 3-foot by 3-foot hole in the floor of their shop that was allowing high levels of lead, copper and zinc to leak in to the environment.

The repair shop is in the South Tacoma Groundwater Protection District and is adjacent to a well.

Tim Pavolka, the shop’s general manager, said the company is working to fix the problem and have already removed nine cubic yards of dirt.

“This area of concern was entirely under the footprint of our building, which is located in an old industrial area,” he said.

The department first became aware of the issue in November 2010 and ordered Performance Radiator to address the problem, which started as a leaking drain sump that was allowing the sludge-like materials to leak into the ground.

The shop removed the sump in October 2011 but left a hole in the floor through which toxins continued to get through into the soil, according to Ecology officials.

The department ordered the business to stop using the area near the hole in June 2012 and fined them when they failed to prevent the waste from leaking in to the ground.

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