Ardagh Glass’s plant in Madera, California, USA has agreed to pay $3.5 million to settle violations of the state's hazardous waste laws.

The state’s Department of Toxic Substances Control said Ardagh had agreed to pay the settlement for violations including illegally disposing hazardous waste, failing to have a legally mandated contingency plan in the event of a spill or unplanned release and inadequately training staff to handle hazardous waste at the facility.

The violations were discovered during inspections in 2010 and 2011, when the company was owned by Saint-Gobain Container Inc. The violations were based on allegations that dust containing lead, arsenic, cadmium, and selenium that exceeded hazardous waste limits was illegally introduced into the manufacture of new bottles at the facility.

The settlement also requires Ardagh Glass (AGI) to follow audit practices to ensure that it remains in compliance with hazardous waste laws.

“Compliance with the hazardous waste law is fundamental in protecting the health of workers and community as well as the environment,” said Keith Kihara, chief of DTSC’s enforcement division. “We are encouraged that AGI is working with us to take the necessary steps to comply with California’s hazardous waste laws.”

As a condition of the settlement, AGI agreed to take a number of actions designed to prevent future violations. These include hiring an independent auditor to conduct three hazardous waste audits at 18-month intervals. The auditor will prepare and submit reports to DTSC that evaluate AGI’s ongoing compliance with the hazardous waste laws.