News | August 7, 2018

U.S. EPA Settles With Four Oakland Companies Over Clean Water Act Violations

Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced settlements with four Oakland companies—Sierra Pacific Ready Mix, Argent Materials, National Recycling Corporation, and Nor-Cal Rock—over Clean Water Act violations. Under the terms of the settlements, the companies will pay a combined $137,000 in civil penalties and will better manage stormwater runoff.

“San Francisco Bay, a National Estuary, provides crucial fish and wildlife habitat in an urban area of over seven million people,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “It is essential that industrial facilities protect the bay, and those who depend on its ecological health, from polluted stormwater.”

EPA partnered with the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board to inspect concrete, motor vehicle parts and recycling facilities in East and West Oakland. The inspections were part of an initiative by the California Environmental Protection Agency's (CalEPA) statewide Environmental Justice Task Force, which focuses compliance and enforcement efforts related to air, water, toxics, solid waste, and pesticides.

“By coordinating the work of multiple agencies, CalEPA’s EJ Task Force is taking a comprehensive approach to addressing pollution in California’s poorest and most burdened communities,” said California Secretary for Environmental Protection Mathew Rodriquez. “These settlements, just the latest enforcement actions to result from our Oakland initiative, will help protect San Francisco Bay from stormwater pollution by industrial facilities.”

EPA conducted a total of six inspections between February and March 2017, which resulted in enforcement actions against:

  • Sierra Pacific Ready Mix (also known as Allied Redy-Mix), a ready-mix concrete manufacturing facility – $72,169 penalty
  • Argent Materials, a concrete and asphalt recycling facility – $27,000 penalty
  • National Recycling Corporation, a recycling facility – $23,106 penalty
  • Nor-Cal Rock, a concrete and asphalt recycling company – $15,000 penalty

Each of the companies failed to develop and implement an adequate stormwater pollution prevention plan and failed to use best management practices designed to prevent contaminants from entering stormwater. Sierra Pacific Ready Mix and Nor-Cal Rock also discharged stormwater containing industrial pollutants without first obtaining a permit.

For more information on stormwater permits under the Clean Water Act, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/npdes/npdes-stormwater-program

Find the CalEPA Environmental Justice Task Force’s report on the Oakland Enforcement Initiative here:https://calepa.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/62/2018/03/OAKEJ_initiative_FINALweb.pdf

Learn more about EPA’s work in the San Francisco Bay Delta Watershed: https://www.epa.gov/sfbay-delta

SOURCE: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)