Investigators from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are testing samples of chemical wastes taken last week from vats at a Monrovia metal plating company that has been closed since Feb. 19. The chemicals, including potassium cyanide and sulfuric acid, are routinely used in the metal-plating business but could chemically react and become hazardous if left unattended, said Monrovia Asst. Fire Chief Ron Crowder.
Crowder said the problem was discovered when the Fire Department inspected Abco Metal Finishing, 1621 S. Myrtle Ave., after owner Eddie Knipe shut down the plant in February. Knipe, who is ill, cannot afford the estimated $200,000 it will cost to dispose of the chemicals, Crowder said.
Crowder said that the situation is not considered dangerous but that the EPA tests will determine how soon something must be done. Walter Uroff, senior industrial hygienist for the county's hazardous waste control program, said that it could take as long as a month for the EPA to make its determination.