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EPA orders Oakland facility to comply with its stormwater permit

Release Date: 6/22/2005
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711

SAN FRANCISCO - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered Millers Dismantler/Towing Services to comply with Clean Water Act requirements at its facility in Oakland, Calif.

The EPA is citing Millers' facility at 9835 Pearmain St. in Oakland for violations that could result in oil and other contaminants leaking into the San Francisco Bay. The company may face federal fines of up to $32,500 per day per violation.

In May, EPA inspectors observed non-stormwater discharges flowing off Millers facility toward a municipal storm drain that flows to the Bay. EPA inspectors noted the company left vehicle batteries and parts exposed and without adequate pollution containment. The inspectors also observed oil stains and pools of oil under and around vehicles, and around loose parts such as tires, engines, and transmissions.

The company had not developed a stormwater pollution prevention plan and did not have a monitoring program for the facility. In addition, Millers failed to respond to two EPA information requests sent on the matter in July and Nov. 2004. All of these actions are violations of California's stormwater permit, which auto dismantlers are required to follow.

"Any stormwater discharges from operations like Millers' must have pollution controls in place to protect coastal waters," said Alexis Strauss, the EPA's director for water programs in the Pacific Southwest region. "The company must properly manage its facility and have plans and monitoring in place to prevent any contamination from entering its stormwater."

The company has 30 days from the date of the EPA order to;

* develop and submit a stormwater pollution prevention plan and a monitoring program;

* provide a detailed explanation of how it has corrected the violations and a time schedule for correcting any remaining issues;

* implement practices to prevent pollutants from being discharged with the stormwater; and
* submit its last five annual reports.

The EPA's stormwater permit regulations require facilities to have the proper pollution prevention controls in place to prevent any contaminants from being discharged with stormwater to protect coastal waters. The agency is focusing its efforts to ensure that auto dismantler facilities comply with their stormwater permits and regulations.
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