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U.S. EPA Orders Vernon, Calif. Bottling Company to Comply with Clean Water Act Requirements

Release Date: 7/9/2003
Contact Information: Mark Merchant, (415) 947-4297

LOS ANGELES -- The United States Environmental Protection Agency announced today it is ordering 7UP/RC Bottling Co. of Southern California to immediately comply with the federal Clean Water Act and a storm water permit issued by California as part of a state-administered permit program.

The EPA’s claim is that since at least 2002 the company has discharged polluted wastewater directly into the Los Angeles River from its bottling plant on 26th Street in Vernon without permission -- a clear violation of the federal Clean Water Act.

In December of last year, the company belatedly sought coverage for wastewater discharges under an industrial general storm water permit issued by the state. However, it has so far failed to implement any of the pollutant reduction, elimination and monitoring programs that are the cornerstones of the permit.

For instance, the company has not yet developed a storm water pollution prevention plan required by the permit. Such a plan would set guidelines and best management practices to prevent storm water runoff from being contaminated by pollutants generated by the company’s industrial activities.

In addition, 7UP/RC Bottling also needs to develop a storm water monitoring program to assess the types of pollutants that are getting into storm water from their facility and ensure the effectiveness of its pollution control program.

"Discharging wastewater into the Los Angeles River without permit authorization is a serious violation of the Clean Water Act and will not be tolerated," said Alexis Strauss, director of the EPA’s Water Division in its San Francisco office. "The Clean Water Act also regulates storm water runoff from industrial sources, which is the biggest cause of water pollution in the greater Los Angeles area. Complying with storm water permit requirements -- by companies large and small -- is nothing to scoff at which, it appears, is what 7UP is doing."

The EPA order requires the company to immediately stop non-storm water discharges; submit a storm water pollution prevention plan and a storm water monitoring plan; and clean up the facility to minimize pollutants in storm water runoff.

Failure to comply with the Clean Water Act or EPA order could make Seven-Up liable for civil penalties of up to $27,500 per day.

For more information about Clean Water Act Requirements, visit: