EPA Orders Miller's Auto Dismantling to Stop Polluting Local Water

Dec. 26, 2003

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ordered an auto dismantler in Sun Valley, Calif. near Los Angeles to comply with federal and state clean water regulations.

The EPA is ordering Miller's Auto Dismantling to comply with the federal Clean Water Act, as well as comply with a clean up and abatement order previously issued in September of 2002 by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board.

Susan Cloke, chair of the regional board said, "The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board has been working closely with the City of Los Angeles to correct area-wide water quality pollution caused by those auto shops in the area which do not follow their permit requirements. After over a year of non-compliance by Miller's Auto Dismantling, the Regional Board requested EPA action. We appreciate this cooperative relationship with the EPA and anticipate other cooperative actions in the future."

Specifically, Miller's Auto Dismantling is violating its national pollutant discharge elimination system storm water permit requirements by not implementing certain management practices, such as storing scrap metal and automobile parts in a manner that could reduce or eliminate the chance for stormwater runoff to be contaminated.

Miller's Auto Dismantling must also comply with the EPA's monitoring, sampling, and record keeping requirements to ensure it operates its facility in an ecologically responsible manner.

"When a firm violates the Clean Water Act, not only does it risk damaging the environment, but it risks huge daily fines as well," said Alexis Strauss, director the EPA's water division in San Francisco. "We urge Miller's Auto -- or any firm that is violating our nation's environmental laws -- to cooperate with the EPA and correct its violations at once."

The EPA is ordering Miller's Auto Dismantling to comply immediately or face penalties of as much as $27,500 a day.

Substances in fuels are known carcinogens. Other possible contaminants found in fuels and oil includes metal shavings, sawdust, or dirt, all of which can pollute drinking water sources.

Substances such as used oil can be refined and re-used as motor oil or furnace fuel oil. According to the EPA, an estimated 380 million gallons of used oil are recycled every year.

Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency