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Tempe Firm to Pay $130,000 in Hazardous Waste Settlement

(Phoenix, Ariz. - May 22, 2008) Attorney General Terry Goddard and Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Director Steve Owens today announced a $130,000 settlement with IMC Magnetics Corporation for violations of the Arizona hazardous waste statutes.

Under the settlement, IMC Magnetics is required to adopt and maintain an environmental management system and conduct two annual hazardous waste audits to confirm compliance with state law.

“While the monetary penalty is substantial and appropriate in this case, what’s more important is the adoption of an environmental management system,” Goddard said. “This program will help the company incorporate systematic, environmentally safe practices that will protect their employees, their company and their neighborhood.”

IMC Magnetics, based in Tempe, manufactures aerospace components, including solenoids, solenoid valves, fans and motors for the commercial and military aerospace industries. In August 2004, the Tempe Fire Department inspected IMC Magnetics’ Tempe facility and found that the company illegally stored potentially explosive hazardous waste on-site. The waste was removed from the site by a robot and then detonated in a safe area.

ADEQ also inspected the facility and found a number of hazardous waste violations, including treatment, storage or disposal of hazardous waste without a permit, failure to perform hazardous waste assessments and failure to inform employees of proper handling and emergency procedures appropriate to hazardous waste.

"The company handled hazardous waste in a careless manner, endangering the public and its own employees," Owens said. "In some instances, company officials claimed that their toxic waste was not hazardous. The penalty reflects the seriousness of the violations."

The settlement is subject Maricopa County Superior Court approval.