The Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility has reached an agreement with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and has agreed to pay $56,000 for hazardous waste violations at its facility in the Bremerton Naval Complex.

The Washington State Department of Ecology and EPA conducted inspection at the shipyard, located in Bremerton, Washington in January 2009 and discovered violations of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which regulates hazardous waste.

Puget Sound Naval Shipyard has been working with EPA to address the violations, which included improper storage and handling of waste plating solution containing hexavalent chromium in the sub-basement of the plating shop.

The hexavalent chromium that dripped through the open grated floor of the plating shop and drained to the basement below and accumulated there is considered to be hazardous to health.

In addition, the inspectors also observed an open drum of paint solvent near an open bay door in a storage shed at the pier on Puget Sound, increasing the risk of contaminating the sound if spilled.

EPA manger of hazardous waste compliance unit Jeff Kenknight said that improper handling of toxic compound that can cause health problems and harm the environment, waste management practices are designed to minimize these risks.