Waste management providers settle with EPA over environmental violations in Calif.

Two large providers of waste management services in the Bay Area have settled with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for numerous violations of the Clean Water Act...

May 20th, 2009

• California Waste Solutions and American Metal and Iron, Inc. fined more than $300,000 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, May 20, 2009 -- Two large providers of waste management services in the Bay Area have settled with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for numerous violations of the Clean Water Act. California Waste Solutions, a company that provides waste management services for large portions of Oakland and San Jose will pay a $261,400 penalty. San Jose based scrap metal recycler American Metal and Iron, Inc, will pay a $45,000 penalty.

"Controlling stormwater pollution is key to improving Bay Area water quality," said Alexis Strauss, Water Division Director for EPA's Pacific Southwest region. "Many tools to control stormwater pollution are simply good housekeeping and continued maintenance."

In September 2007, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency filed complaints alleging that California Waste Solutions had violated its permit, discharging waste and other pollutants into nearby waterways at three facilities during the previous five years.

In September 2008, the EPA had also filed a complaint alleging violations at two American Metal and Iron, Inc facilities in San Jose. Violations at AMI include discharges of stormwater without a NPDES permit and failure to comply with permit terms after obtaining coverage. Violations of the permit's terms include failure to monitor stormwater discharges and failure to implement adequate controls to prevent the discharge of pollutants into nearby Coyote Creek.

Stormwater is a national priority for the EPA. Storm water runoff from urban areas can include a variety of pollutants, such as sediment, bacteria, organic nutrients, hydrocarbons, metals, oil and grease. Discharges of these pollutants can harm the environment and public health.

The Clean Water Act requires waste management companies to have controls in place to prevent pollutants from being discharged with stormwater into nearby waterways. They must have a stormwater pollution prevention plan that sets guidelines and best management practices to follow, to prevent runoff from being contaminated by pollutants.

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