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U.S. EPA cites food company for violating federal Clean Water Act

Release Date: 10/15/2003
Contact Information: Mark Merchant, (415) 947-4297

LOS ANGELES -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recently issued a proposed penalty of up to $27,500 to a Mexican food company in Pomona for violations of the federal Clean Water Act.

Sofia's Mexican Food Inc. makes tortillas in Pomona and has authorization from the Sanitation Districts of Los Angles County to discharge approximately 2,800 gallons of wastewater into a sewer line running under its building on Holt Avenue.

However, the company is required to submit self-monitoring reports twice a year -- describing the nature, concentration and flow of pollutants into the sewer system -- with the first one due on Jan. 15, 2000. To date, Sofia's failed to file seven reports and was late filing one of its reports.

The Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts and the EPA inspected several industries in Los Angeles County in May 2003. The industries were cited for failing to comply with both federal and local requirements to submit monitoring reports of their wastewater discharges to the sewer system.

These joint inspections followed repeated requests by the sanitation districts that these industries submit the information required to correct these delinquent or deficient reports. All but one of the industries inspected have either complied or are working toward compliance. The exception is Sofia's Mexican Foods.

"This joint enforcement effort exemplifies the cooperative working relationship that has existed for a long time between the sanitation districts and the EPA in ensuring industries comply with the Clean Water Act," said Alexis Strauss, director of the Water Division in the EPA's Pacific Southwest Region.

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