Romic Environmental Technologies, headquartered in East Palo Alto, has completed its sale to Clean Harbors, Inc. and will no longer accept shipments of hazardous wastes after today, company officials announced.
Romic's East Palo Alto plant on Bay Road is not part of the assets-only purchase and will be shut down after the remaining hazardous waste is either processed or shipped to other facilities.
Romic has seven locations in the Western states, five of which are offices or transfer stations. Not included in the Clean Harbors purchase are the company's waste processing plants in East Palo Alto and Chandler, Arizona, which has also come under the scrutiny of regulators.
The East Palo Alto plant was issued an enforcement order by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) on May 30 after years of safety violations and chemical spills.
"Our department has found that specific areas of Romic's operations pose an unacceptable risk to public health and the environment," the state order stated.
Romic appealed and had the order stayed, according to Romic spokesperson Chris Stampolis. "The sale to Clean Harbors has nothing to do with the enforcement order issued by the DTSC," Stampolis said.
Romic will work with the state agency, the City of East Palo Alto, the East Palo Alto Sanitary District, San Mateo County's Environmental Health Division and the Menlo Park Fire Protection District to develop a work plan to close the East Palo Alto facility, company officials said.
Romic had operated its plant in East Palo Alto for 43 years but had been under increasing criticism from residents over recent chemical spills, including a 4,000-gallon release of solvents in June 2006 that included a toxic cloud over the environmentally sensitive baylands adjacent to the plant.