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EPA Orders Rural No Cal Industries to Provide Information on Water Discharges

Release Date: 2/4/2003
Contact Information: Leo Kay, Press Office, 415/947-4306

     Information gathered to protect small, local wastewater treatment plants

     SAN FRANCISCO   The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently issued orders to five rural northern California industries that require them to submit data on the type and amount of waste they are sending to local wastewater treatment plants.

     The EPA has ordered the following companies to demonstrate compliance with their sewer limitations for one year through sampling:

          LanMark Circuits and BK Powder Coating in Grass Valley

          Electro Star in Red Bluff

          Rippey Corporation in El Dorado Hills

          High Country Tek in Nevada City

     The EPA is requesting the industries to monitor their sewer discharges and report their results for one year. Either the cities or the appropriate regional water quality control boards are expected to issue valid permits once the year is up.  These companies discharge industrial wastewater in cities that were not required to issue valid sewer permits specifying the federal standards and sampling requirements.

     "Small cities are particularly vulnerable to the bad effects of toxic industrial wastewater discharges into the sewers," said Catherine Kuhlman, the director of the EPA's water division in San Francisco.  "Those industries with the greatest potential to discharge toxic pollutants must  comply with permits issued by either the state or the city."

     The EPA audited the state's regional water quality control boards in 1998, finding that many large businesses in small towns were not being required to submit information that detailed the amount and type of pollution they were sending through their respective sewer systems.

     The EPA fined a Central Valley mirror manufacturer $365,000 in February after investigators determined that the facility had illegally sent copper and silver-tainted effluent to the local wastewater treatment plant more than 1,500 times over five years.  Violations like these can damage a wastewater treatment plant's structural integrity, as well as render its sewage sludge unfit for agricultural application.