RIALTO - The California Attorney General's Office has filed a civil complaint against Riverside-based Filter Recycling Services Inc., alleging that it accepted hazardous waste that it is not authorized to handle at its Rialto facility.

"We have had a series of inspections and investigations at the site, and these have shown significant violations of their permit," said Brian Johnson, the enforcement director of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, the agency on behalf of which the Attorney General's office filed the complaint.

"They are accepting materials way outside their permit, and we are very concerned," Johnson said in telephone interview Friday.

According to the complaint, the materials include:

  • Water contaminated with gasoline.

  • Water contaminated with benzene.

  • Pesticides.

    The complaint also alleges that FRS further violates state law by:

  • Failing to store ignitable hazardous waste in an authorized manner.

  • Misrepresenting its activities in its operating records.

  • Using an unregistered transporter for hauling hazardous waste.

    FRS owner Jon Bennett Jr. said he has been working with the permitting section of the DTSC "to clean up the permit" since 2008.

    He said part of the problem is that the agency's permitting section and enforcement section are not communicating.

    Johnson said that logic is like someone traveling at a high speed on a highway because there have been discussions about raising the speed limit.

    "Permit modification is in process," he said. But for now, FRS can't accept some of the products it has been.

    When the agency permits an activity, such as the acceptance of pesticides, it sets out specific rules on how the material should be managed.

    Since this business doesn't have a permit for many of its activities, it's likely handling materials in an inappropriate manner, which can create risks for the community.

    "We don't like uncertainty on how a facility is operating," he said.

    Improper handling of gasoline could result in an explosion or fire, he said.

    Bennett said he hopes to resolve "this permit misunderstanding" with the state before the matter goes to trial.

    According to the company's website, "for the past 20 years FRS has been a leader in reuse and recycling of solid and liquid waste."

    FRS says it operates a variety of transportation and service vehicles including roll-off trucks, vacuum tankers, end dumps and van body trucks.

    Other services include hydro- blasting, steam cleaning and pressure washing, according to the website.

    The company treats hazardous waste, transports liquids and solids, cleans tanks and does environmental consulting, scheduled services and field project management of remediation projects.


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