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SACRAMENTO February 14, 2018 – The Department of Toxic Substances Control has reached an $89,142 settlement with the University of Southern California over hazardous waste violations. Two community projects, one that provides community-based information on air quality in real time and another that connects students with nature, will receive funding to offset some of the penalty.

“DTSC continues to hold violators accountable and protect public health, and at the same time promote projects that benefit communities most burdened by pollution,” DTC Director Barbara Lee said. “The Department appreciates that USC agreed to fund two projects that will help improve the lives and health outcomes of some of California’s most vulnerable residents.”

USC, a registered hazardous waste transporter, was cited for shipping hazardous waste without preparing a uniform hazardous waste manifest to an unauthorized hazardous waste consolidation and storage facility and for accepting and storing hazardous waste without a permit or authorization from DTSC. It will pay $49,142 to DTSC as a fine and $42,000 to the two community projects approved by DTSC.

USC is subject to a follow-up inspection by DTSC to verify compliance to hazardous waste laws and regulations.

Community Learning Enhances Air Resources (CLEAR) will receive $35,000 to help develop a network of community-based air quality monitoring devices in the Wilmington-San Pedro area. The low-cost technology and training allow residents to learn about air pollution in their communities and its effects and to take simple but effective steps to reduce their exposure.

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Nurturing Students with Nature will receive $7,000 to help provide urban children of Los Angeles with environmental experiences in parks and other open spaces. This fosters emotional and intellectual connections designed to bring classroom curriculum to life.

The settlements are part of DTSC’s Supplemental Environmental Projects Program, which encourages companies and individuals who settle hazardous waste cases to fund projects that benefit California communities most burdened by environmental harm. Up to 50 percent of fines and penalties can be directed toward projects that improve public health or the environment and go beyond compliance with legal requirements. As part of the settlement process, violators can select projects to finance from a DTSC-approved list.

View documents related to the settlement here.