Salinas-based Taylor Farms cited by U.S. EPA for pollutant discharge and fined $67,640

By on June 26, 2018
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A settlement has been reached by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with Salinas, CA-based Taylor Farms Retail, Inc. for violations at its refrigerated warehouse and food processing facility. The company has been fined a penalty of $67,640 and must take steps to preclude pollutants from discharging in industrial stormwater.

Taylor Farms’ Clean Water Act (CWA) violations include failure to obtain a stormwater discharge permit the California State Water Resources Control Board when the EPA inspected Taylor Farms’ facility in November 2016. The EPA also found the facility was operating without a stormwater pollution prevention plan and failed to conduct required annual employee training on minimizing pollutants in stormwater runoff.

The CWA requires that certain industrial facilities obtain National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits to control pollutants from discharging into stormwater runoff and subsequently into nearby water bodies. These specific facilities must develop and implement a stormwater pollution prevention plan to prevent runoff from washing harmful pollutants into local water bodies.

Stormwater runoff from food processing facilities can include organic wastes, oil and grease and sediments. Pollutants from industrial stormwater facilities, when not properly managed, can damage water quality and aquatic life.

In Taylor Farms’ case, stormwater runoff discharges into Alisal Creek, a tributary to the Old Salinas River which flows into Monterey Bay. The company has obtained the necessary permit and come into compliance with CWA requirements since being cited.

“Stormwater often carries pollution and sediment into local waterways that can damage water quality,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “The company will now comply with polluted runoff requirements and protect Monterey Bay.”

The EPA’s proposed settlement with Taylor Farms is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final approval and is available at: https://www.epa.gov/publicnotices/taylor-farms-retail-inc-salinas-california-proposed-settlement-clean-water-act-class-0. For more information on the stormwater permits under the Clean Water Act, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/npdes/npdes-stormwater-program.