LAWFUEL – Law News Network – A defense contracting company in Santa Fe Springs plead guilty this morning to violating the federal Clean Water Act by negligently discharging oilcontaminated
wastewaters into a storm drain, which flowed into Coyote Creek
and, ultimately, into the San Gabriel River.
All Power Manufacturing Company, represented by its lawyer, appeared
before United States District Judge Edward Rafeedie in Los Angeles and pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor count.
The illegal discharge occurred on March 22, 2004 and cost approximately
$100,000 to clean up.
All Power Manufacturing, which is in the business of making parts for use in aerospace applications, generated oil-contaminated wastewater when it cleaned its machines. Normally, these wastes were emptied into large containers called totes and were transported to a licensed waste disposal facility. In early January
2004, when the company’s environmental compliance officer was on leave, a
temporary employee emptied the wastes into a floor drain. In March, a burst hose at the facility caused the floor drain to overflow. As a result, the wastewaters in the floor drain were negligently discharged into a street gutter in front of the facility.
When an employee of All Power Manufacturing discovered the spill, he contacted a private contractor to clean up the petroleum and oil contamination on the premises and along the street gutter. However, the private contractor did not conduct any cleanup of the contamination in the storm drain system, Coyote Creek or the San Gabriel River.
Immediately after it pleaded guilty, Judge Rafeedie sentenced All Power
Manufacturing to one year of probation and ordered it to pay a criminal fine of $150,000, half of which will support community service projects, including the National Marine Fisheries Service and the International Bird Rescue Research Center in San Pedro. Furthermore, All Power Manufacturing has agreed to pay
approximately $20,000 in restitution the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works and the California Department of Fish and Game, which responded to the spill.
This case is the result of an investigation by the California Department of Fish and Game, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, the City of Santa Fe Springs, the Los Angeles Regional Quality Control Board and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney William W. Carter
Chief, Environmental Crimes Section
Release No. 06-110