PSNS agrees to pay fine for toxic chemical in plating shop

The Puget Sound Naval Shipyard agreed to pay $56,000 in civil penalties for failing to manage a dangerous chemical found in a plating shop, according to an agreement last month.

Inspectors from the state Department of Ecology and the U.S. Environmental Protection Administration found dangerous levels of the chemical in the sub-floor of a plating facility at the Bremerton shipyard.

Inspectors also found an open container of dangerous waste in building 993.

The plating facility, located in building 873, was tested in January, 2009.

The chemical, hexavlanet chromium, is a carcinogen found in industrial materials, including pigments and protective coatings, according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Inspectors found the chemical “was allowed to fall through the grating on the process room floor and accumulate on the light fixtures, walls and piping (and) in and on drop pans,” and said it was possible the chemical could have been tracked outside by workers.

The shipyard also agreed to close and clean the shop.

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