An Orangeburg chemical company has been fined $8,000 by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control for the improper handling of universal waste to include such items as batteries, light bulbs and computers.
Gulbrandsen Chemicals, located on Gulbrandsen Road off of U.S. 21 (Rowesville Road), has been fined for violating the state's Hazardous Waste Management Act and the South Carolina Hazardous Waste Management Regulations.
Gulbrandsen Human Resources Director and Safety Manager James Carson said the plant was cited for improperly handling universal waste products and not its hazardous chemicals.
Carson says the issues have been addressed and the fine has been paid as required.
"We have done retraining with all our employees as well as training of new employees and the employees who currently handle hazardous waste," Carson said. "Like any other company, we strive to be environmentally responsible."
"Sometimes we have employees that may not necessarily do the right thing or perform the job as expected," Carson said, noting employees have been retrained to ensure the company is in full compliance with all safety regulations.
The violations were discovered during an unannounced DHEC inspection of the facility March 7. Gulbrandsen specializes in manufacturing aluminum chloride.
The company was cited for its:
- Failure to maintain aisle space to allow the unobstructed movement of personnel, fire protection equipment, spill control equipment and any decontamination equipment to any area of facility operation in an emergency.
- Failure to conduct weekly inspections.
- Failure to prohibit improper disposal of universal waste.
- Failure to prohibit sending or taking universal waste to a place other than another universal hauler or designated facility.
- Failure to inform and describe for all employees who handle or have responsibility for managing universal waste, the proper handling and emergency procedures appropriate for the type(s) of universal waste handled at the facility.
According to DHEC, the company has had no other orders issued against it.