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U.S. EPA orders San Jose company to comply with stormwater discharge requirements

Release Date: 02/06/2008
Contact Information: Wendy Chavez, 415/947-4248

(San Francisco, Calif. -- 02/06/2008) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today ordered a San Jose, Calif. scrap material company to immediately comply with the Clean Water Act at two of its facilities.

    The EPA inspected American Metal and Iron’s 11665 Berryessa Rd. facility on Oct. 25 and Dec. 7, and its 1045 Commercial Ct. facility on Dec. 7. During the inspections, the EPA discovered that the Berryessa Road facility failed to comply with California’s general industrial stormwater permit and the Commercial Street facility discharged industrial stormwater without the required permit.

“Companies such as America Metal are responsible for managing their operations to protect our waterways from industrial runoff,” said Alexis Strauss, the EPA’ s Water Division director for the Pacific Southwest region. “To protect Coyote Creek and the San Francisco Bay, American Metal and Iron needs to comply with the Clean Water Act and promptly take the steps needed to protect San Francisco Bay from pollution.”

Polluted stormwater runs off these two facilities and into the collection system where it runs into Coyote Creek and eventually into the San Francisco Bay

Under the order, the company is required to immediately:
apply for a discharge permit at its Commercial Court location;
comply with its current discharge permit at its Berryessa Road facility;
and at both facilities, the company must:
minimize and prevent the discharge of pollutants into the San Francisco Bay or any other body of water;
submit a stormwater pollution prevention plan and stormwater monitoring plan;
cover and contain outdoor equipment, maintenance and fueling areas; and
clean up specific areas.

Failure to comply with the EPA order could bring penalties against the company for as much as $32,500 per day per violation.

Polluted runoff is the leading cause of water pollution in the San Francisco Bay. Stormwater runoff can carry pollutants from industrial sources metals, oil and grease, acidic wastewater, bacteria, trash and other toxic pollutants into nearby water sources. The EPA requires industrial facilities to prevent water pollution by complying with federal and state water pollution requirements.