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Four Oakland Companies Cited, Fined over Clean Water Act Violations
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced settlements with four Oakland industrial companies last week for Clean Water Act violations. Each of the companies had failed to develop and implement an adequate stormwater pollution prevention plan and each of the four failed to use best management practices designed to prevent contaminants from entering stormwater.
As part of an initiative by the California Environmental Protection Agency’s (CalEPA) statewide Environmental Justice (EJ) Task Force, the EPA had partnered with the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board to inspect concrete, motor vehicle parts and recycling facilities in East and West Oakland. The inspections focused on compliance and enforcement efforts related to air, water, toxics, solid waste, and pesticides. Six inspections were conducted between February and March 2017 and four companies were in violation of the Clean Water Act.
“It is essential that industrial facilities protect the bay, and those who depend on its ecological health, from polluted stormwater,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “San Francisco Bay, a National Estuary, provides crucial fish and wildlife habitat in an urban area of over seven million people.”
Under the terms of the settlements, the companies will pay a combined $137,000 in civil penalties and will be held accountable for better managing stormwater runoff. The enforcement actions and the penalty amounts were levied against the following:
- Sierra Pacific Ready Mix (also known as Allied Redy-Mix), a ready-mix concrete manufacturing facility – $72,169 penalty
- Argent Materials, a concrete and asphalt recycling facility – $27,000 penalty
- National Recycling Corporation, a recycling facility – $23,106 penalty
- Nor-Cal Rock, a concrete and asphalt recycling company – $15,000 penalty
In addition to the stormwater pollution prevent plan and failing to prevent contaminants from entering stormwater, Sierra Pacific Ready Mix and Nor-Cal Rock were also discharging stormwater containing industrial pollutants without first obtaining a permit.
“These settlements, just the latest enforcement actions to result from our Oakland initiative, will help protect San Francisco Bay from stormwater pollution by industrial facilities,” said California Secretary for Environmental Protection Mathew Rodriquez. “By coordinating the work of multiple agencies, CalEPA’s EJ Task Force is taking a comprehensive approach to addressing pollution in California’s poorest and most burdened communities.”