Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
January 4, 2011
Susan Kang Schroeder
VISTA PAINT TO PAY $1 MILLION TO SIX DISTRICT ATTORNEYS SETTLING LAWSUIT CHARGING ILLEGAL TRANSPORTATION AND MISMANAGEMENT OF HAZARDOUS WASTE
SANTA ANA – Vista Paint Corporation (Vista Paint) was ordered to pay $1 million to six District Attorney’s Offices in California to settle a lawsuit charging illegal transportation and mismanagement of hazardous waste and materials. Vista Paint is an Orange County corporation with retail stores throughout the State. The settlement was signed yesterday, Jan. 3, 2011, in the Superior Court of California in Orange County on behalf of the District Attorney’s Offices in the Counties of Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Placer, and Stanislaus. The settlement pertains to all Vista Paint retail stores in the six participating Counties.
Vista Paint has agreed to pay $1.075 million including $848,000 in civil penalties and the remainder in costs and supplemental environmental projects that will provide support for the future enforcement of California environmental law.
The case against Vista Paint states they improperly handled and transported hazardous waste including paint thinners and solvents, unusable paint materials, and rags and absorbents used to clean up spills of hazardous materials. Vista Paint has not admitted fault or liability.
The Hazardous Waste Control Law requires hazardous waste to be properly handled and disposed of from the location where it was generated. The hazardous waste in this case was generated at Vista Paint retail locations and then illegally transported to a central facility in Fullerton without proper management or disposal of the waste as required by law.
The terms of the settlement require Vista Paint to properly label and store hazardous waste, train each employee at waste-generating facilities to identify hazardous waste, register each Vista Paint retail store that generates hazardous waste with the Department of Toxic Substances Control, and allow for the tracking of hazardous waste shipments.
Orange County Deputy District Attorney William Fallon, Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Dale Hoy, San Bernardino County Deputy District Attorney Dan Silverman, San Diego County Deputy District Attorneys James Waters and Karen Doty, and Deputy District Attorney Matthew Maclear for Stanislaus County prosecuted this case.