Richmond Metal Co. Must Remove Toxic Waste

A state hazardous wastes agency has won a temporary restraining  order from a Contra Costa County Superior Court judge requiring a Richmond  metal-plating company to remove toxic wastes from its facility.

The order against Electro-Forming Co. was granted by Judge Judith  Craddick Friday at the request of the California Department of Toxic  Substances Control.

It will be in effect until a Jan. 15 hearing on the agency's  request for a longer-term preliminary injunction against the company.

The order requires the company to comply with state hazardous  waste laws and regulations by removing wastes including cyanide and  metal-containing liquids from its drums and tanks and by clearing  contaminated buffing dust from its floors.

Electro-Forming is required to hire a qualified contractor to do  the work and to report back to the DTSC within 48 hours of the removal.

A spokesman for the company was not immediately available for  comment.

The state Attorney General's Office, acting on behalf of the DTSC,  sued Electro-Forming and its owners in August.

The lawsuit alleged the company illegally disposed of hazardous  waste in the street and on adjacent property; boiled off liquid plating waste  and combined different types of hazardous waste in a tank.

DTSC Chief Counsel Reed Sato said in a statement, "This company  has failed to comply with the rules that protect public health of the  neighborhood around Electro-Forming. The state had to stop this reckless  behavior."

Assemblymember Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, praised the agency's  action.

"I'm heartened to see the state acting to clean up this hazardous  site, but I'm concerned it took so long," Skinner said.

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