Utah's only commercial hazardous-waste disposal facility, U.S. Pollution Control Inc., broke groundwater protection rules, a notice of violation issued by state officials contends.

The company, based in Oklahoma City, operates a toxic-waste landfill in the Tooele County desert. The notice maintains that liquid wastes were placed in the landfill, which is only allowed to accept solid material."These are fairly serious violations for us," said Brent C. Bradford, executive secretary of the state's Solid and Hazardous Waste Committee, who signed the notice.

On Sept. 16, federal and state inspectors visited the facility at Grassy Mountain, Tooele County. The citation says they found liquid waste and drums in a landfill, and that a gondola of liquid waste was apparently about to be discharged into a landfill.

"These landfills are designed not to contain liquids," he said. "There's a prohibition against liquids going in."

Liquid material is supposed to be absorbed by lime and fly ash, turned into a solid, before going into the landfill, he said. This treatment is intended to prevent dangerous liquid material from getting into the ground water.

"It wasn't all being treated," Bradford said, quoting the citation. "There were some drums in the landfill that were leaking."

Bradford also said material in gondolas is supposed to be treated and inspected before going to the landfill. "It was not inspected. It just went directly to the landfill," he said.

When inspectors found liquid material in it, the facility's operator took it back to be tested, he said.