Calif-based SpaceX rocket company fined by EPA for hazardous waste violations

Friday, October 1, 2010

SpaceX fined for hazardous waste violations

HAWTHORNE, Calif. — Rocket developer Space Explorations Technologies has been fined $45,600 for hazardous waste violations, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Friday.

A 2009 inspection of the Hawthorne-based company, known as SpaceX, found hazardous waste was stored longer than allowed, and containers had not been closed.

Among other violations were failing to label or improperly labeling the containers, the EPA said.

SpaceX spokeswoman Kirstin Brost said in a statement that the company is committed to protecting the environment and has addressed the EPA’s concerns.

“We respect the work done by the Environmental Protection Agency and consider them a partner in performing our work,” she said.

SpaceX is developing rockets it hopes will be used by NASA to service the international space station and to place commercial satellites in orbit.

In June, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket reached orbit in a test launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla. The company plans next to launch a Falcon 9 to place a capsule into orbit. A parachute system to safely land the capsule in the ocean was successfully tested off the California coast in August.

This year SpaceX also announced a $492 million agreement with Iridium Communications Inc. to launch a new generation of communications satellites into orbit.

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