Jushi USA in Columbia fined over alleged environmental violations
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Jushi USA in Columbia fined over alleged environmental violations

May 16, 2023

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina officials have imposed large fines on a fiberglass maker near Columbia, saying the company had repeated violations of environmental regulations.

The fines against China Jushi USA, which operates on Shop Road, are detailed in documents posted by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), and are part of two separate consent orders. A consent order is an agreement between two groups that usually ends with one side making agreed upon changes.

The total fines in the consent orders add up to roughly $467,000.

The first order says multiple hazardous waste violations were found during an inspection on September 8th of last year. Among the flagged items by DHEC were a failure to label containers as "hazardous waste," not posting "no smoking" signs near ignitable or reactive waste, and failing to make sure that batteries showing signs of leakage or damage were properly contained. Regulators also said the company didn't make sure all employees were trained on waste handling and emergency procedures, and didn't have proper paperwork of their plans with emergency responders.

In all, the hazardous waste fines added up to $57,000, and the company is required to have a new hazardous waste plan by July 26.

The other violations centered around air quality. These all were noticed during multiple inspections between 2020 and 2022.

According to the report, the company exceeded its limit for particulate matter emissions of glass produced during a a total of 219 days from 2019 to 2022. It also found the company exceed its limit of nitrogen oxides, a gas that can be poisonous. SCDHEC said the company also didn't have good record-keeping on its testing of emissions, and didn't properly maintenance on its emission control system.

The air quality fines totaled $410,000. The company agreed to comply with emission limits, testing and monitoring requirements, and record-keeping.

Jushi announced plans in 2016 to come to Richland County, opening operations two years later at Pineview Industrial Park The 80,000-ton production line in Richland County was the first U.S. manufacturing site for Jushi, which is headquartered in Zhejiang, China. The move brought in 400 jobs and represented a $300 million investment.