This 23 year old east coast painting, coatings & abrassives contractor was recently put out of business due to environmental fines totalling $743,500 as well as pending OSHA fines and penalties.
From Durability and Design:
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.
By Russell Carr|2017-12-27T13:29:15-05:00January 16th, 2014|Good To Know|Comments Off on Painting, Coatings & Abrasives Contractor Forced Into Bankruptcy
How A Sales Guy Transformed Into An Environmental, Health & Safety Expert & Advocate For Small Businesses I've spent my entire 30+ year career working within the manufacturing and “industrial services” sectors. The first 15 years of my career focused on sales of hazardous materials related products and services to the manufacturing sector, then for the last 16+ years transitioned into entrepreneurship, founding 3 small industrial services related contracting businesses. As you’ll see below, running these companies eventually lead me to found yet a 4th business, but more on that in a minute…. Here’s a brief description of the first 3 companies: - Berg Environmental Services, Inc.: hazardous waste disposal & transportation services, founded in August of 2003 - 3rd party wind energy operations & maintenance services provider to utility scale wind farms throughout the US, founded in September 2007 - 3rd party oil & gas exploration & production services provider, founded in August of 2011 Each of these companies operated in extremely dangerous working conditions and exposed my employees to a wide range of serious health & safety hazards on a daily basis. To complicate matters, 2 of the companies also exposed the environment to significant potential harm. In other words, I learned very early the critical importance of managing environmental, health and safety issues so as to ensure the safety of our employees and the environment, as well as minimizing related risks. But I also learned how incredibly difficult and challenging this endeavor can be due to the wide range of complicated and continually changing environmental, health and safety rules and regulations that impacted the companies. To summarize the challenges: First I had to determine which regulations applied to each company, then I had to build compliance programs to meet those regulations, and finally I had to ensure that the programs were being managed and followed by our staff on a daily basis. All while trying to run and grow 3 profitable businesses…. It was overwhelming and I always struggled to keep up. To make matters worse, throughout this time I also witnessed the devastating price that companies, management and ownership can pay for failing to manage EHS compliance. This included seeing one of my hazardous waste management clients get sent to jail over environmental issues, another client’s management team threatened with jail time, a direct competitor get fined $378,000 by OSHA fine after an employee was nearly killed, and many others face major fines and penalties. Full disclosure, one of my companies got fined by OSHA at one point, & another was cited by TCEQ, so I know how it feels. In summary, I learned first hand how incredibly difficult it is for small companies to manage EHS compliance due to a common lack of the critical expertise, time and resources that are needed to keep up, and how this situation then ends up exposing them to these potentially catastrophic risks that can literally destroy lives and businesses. This later inspired me to found my 4th company, Berg Compliance Solutions in 2012, which is dedicated to helping other small businesses, and business owners, to manage EHS compliance and risk. Education • BA, Philosophy, University of Colorado, Boulder, December, 1990. Summary of Professional Experience & Qualifications: - 30+ years serving the manufacturing & industrial services sectors - 30+ years of sales and marketing experience - 16+ years as small business owner & entrepreneur: Founded and operated 4 small businesses since 2003. Environmental, Health & Safety Compliance & Program Related: - 19 plus years of hazardous waste management including EPA, TCEQ & RCRA regulations - 8 years of DOT/FMCSA compliance experience, including hazardous materials transportation - 8 years of combined experience implementing and managing OSHA health and safety compliance programs for 2 high risk energy services businesses - Successfully implemented and gained ISO 9001 Quality Management Certification and OHSAS 18001 (Occupational Health & Safety Advisory Service) Certification for wind energy maintenance business. Regulatory Enforcement Related Experience: – Served as expert witness in criminal environmental compliance enforcement cases – Superfund-CERCLA – OSHA enforcement inspections, investigations and resolution in following industries: industrial services, manufacturing & construction. - TCEQ enforcement inspections, investigations and resolution in manufacturing.