|Facing a $743,500 federal fine he says he cannot pay, the owner of a longtime commercial painting and powder coating business in Connecticut plans to close his doors.A Superior Court judge in Hartford, CT, ordered the hefty fine Dec. 24 for a variety of environmental and training violations by family-owned Suraci Inc. (also known as Suraci Corp.), of New Haven, CT, and owner Bruno F. Suraci Jr., according to court documents.The state’s Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection had accused the company of improperly managing hazardous waste generated at its River Street site from Sept. 9, 2010, to May 25, 2011, court documents say.The Allegations
The company was accused of a number of violations, including:
- Failing to mark containers and tanks accumulating hazardous waste with the words “hazardous waste” and a description of the contents;
- Failing to train employees;
- Failing to obtain permits before storing hazardous waste on site for greater than 90 days; and
- Failing to maintain a hazardous waste contingency plan.
Wastes generated at the facility included waste paint; solvent contaminated materials; solvent still bottoms; spent process baths; rinse waters; burn-off ash; used abrasive blasting media; and oil and spent fluorescent lighting, the complaint said.
The company, which also operated as Suraci Defense Coating LLC and Suraci Spray & Finishing LLC, also has a record with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA cited both companies after inspections in September 2010.
In that case, Suraci Defense Coating was initially fined $2,700 for nine serious citations, including violations of respiratory protection, general requirements, and an emergency action plan. The case was later settled at five serious violations and $1,575 in fines, according to OSHA’s records.
The same day, Suraci Spray & Finishing was cited for 11 serious violations and fined $4,050. The violations were similar to those faced by the Defense Coating arm of the company. That case was settled at seven violations and $2,025 in fines, according to OSHA.
Attempted follow-up inspections by OSHA on May 14, 2013, were not completed, with OSHA noting that both companies were out of business.
The company did not respond to a request for comment from Durability + Design News. However, a spokesman told The Hartford Courant that Suraci Inc. did not produce the levels of pollutants needed to require the permits and did not plan to pay the fine.
|Suraci and its spinoff businesses provide a wide range of spray and powder coating and abrasive blasting services for commercial, residential, military, OEM and industrial customers.
Suraci said the business, which once employed about 137 people, ran out of funds fighting the state’s charges and has had to shutter most of its operations.
He also told the news outlet that he planned to file for bankruptcy.
About the Company
The family-owned business reports on its website that industrial and production coating services have been a part of the Suraci tradition for four generations—beginning with a great-grandfather who painted horse-drawn carriages and, later, automobiles.
Suraci Inc. provided spray painting, powder coating and abrasive blasting services to OEM, commercial and residential customers for more than 23 years.
The company said its New Haven facility had more than 120,000 square feet available to handle a variety of projects, including automated lines for both powder coating and wet spray.