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Paint Company Ordered To Pay $1 Million For Mismanagement Of Hazardous Materials

An Orange County-based paint company will pay $1 million to six district attorney's offices in California -- including San Diego County -- to settle a lawsuit alleging illegal transportation and mismanagement of hazardous waste and materials.

The settlement with Vista Paint Corp. was signed Monday in Orange County Superior Court on behalf of the district attorney's offices in the counties of Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Placer and Stanislaus.

Vista Paint was accused of improperly handling and transporting hazardous waste, including paint thinners and solvents, unusable paint materials and rags and absorbents used to clean up spills of hazardous materials.


The company did not admit fault or liability in the settlement, which pertains to all Vista Paint retail stores in the six participating counties, according to a jointly issued statement.

The paint company agreed to pay $1.075 million, including $848,000 in civil penalties and costs. Some of the settlement will fun supplemental environmental projects that will provide support for the future enforcement of California environmental law.

The terms of the settlement require Vista Paint to properly label and store hazardous waste; train each employee at waste-generating facilities to identify hazardous waste; register each Vista Paint retail store that generates hazardous waste with the Department of Toxic Substances Control; and allow for the tracking of hazardous waste shipments.

KPBS has created a public safety coverage policy to guide decisions on what stories we prioritize, as well as whose narratives we need to include to tell complete stories that best serve our audiences. This policy was shaped through months of training with the Poynter Institute and feedback from the community. You can read the full policy here.