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DISNEY CO. AGREES TO FINE

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What would Tinkerbell think?

An embarrassed Walt Disney Co. agreed to pay a $550,000 federal fine Friday and keep better watch over its contractors after one contractor improperly disposed of 14,000 gallons of hazardous waste from Disneyland at sites in Utah and Wyoming.In 1988 and 1989, the contractor, Ken's Oil Co. Inc. of Garden Grove, Calif., disposed of paint thinners and solvents at the sites, which did not have permits to accept the wastes, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

David Janick, an EPA enforcement attorney in Denver, said it was "too soon to tell" if the hazardous wastes would damage the environment. Thirteen shipments went to the Mountaineer Refining Co. in LaBarge, Wyo., and one shipment went to the Ekotek Inc. near Salt Lake City, Janik said.

"We do not look upon ourselves as polluters. Yes, we are embarrassed," said Disney spokesman Tom Deegan in Burbank, Calif. "Frankly, I think the size of the fine has more to do with the stature of Disney" than the seriousness of the violation, he added.