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Top Air Pollution Penalties

March 31, 1993

The South Coast Air Quality Management District has responsibility to control air pollution. It can seek court-imposed fines against polluters of from $25 to $25,000 a day based on such factors as the extent that emissions exceed legal limits, potential danger to the public, whether the violation was intentional, accidental or a result of negligence, and the company's history of violations. These are the 10 top penalties in August, 1992: COMPANY: Alumax Mill Products, Riverside TYPE OF BUSINESS: Aluminum fabricator PENALTY: $150,000 VIOLATION: Excessive reactive organic gas emissions from solvents used during coating operations. The penalty will be used for AQMD research projects to assist small business. *COMPANY: John Boyd Designs, Los Angeles TYPE OF BUSINESS: Furniture maker PENALTY: $20,000 VIOLATION: Excessive hydrocarbons from coatings use, failure to maintain daily records of coating and solvent usage. *COMPANY: Press-Tech Inc., Long Beach TYPE OF BUSINESS: Oil de-sludging contractor PENALTY: $20,000 VIOLATION: Violations of general permit conditions, failure to keep records of emission monitoring, which existed for several days during a five-month period. *COMPANY: GTE Directories Services Corp., Los Alamitos TYPE OF BUSINESS: Telephone book publisher PENALTY: $15,000 VIOLATION: Failure to submit the annual plan update of its AQMD-approved ride-sharing plan on time, failure to implement certain employee incentives. The company agreed to provide the AQMD with an additional $200,000 worth of advertising space for public service announcements in 117 directories over two years. *COMPANY: Shell Oil Co., Carson TYPE OF BUSINESS: Refinery PENALTY: $9,500 VIOLATION: Multiple violations, including excessive discharges of sulfur and nitrogen compounds, excessive gasoline vapors. *COMPANY: Superior National Insurance, Calabasas TYPE OF BUSINESS: Insurance firm PENALTY: $9,000 VIOLATION: Failure to submit its AQMD-approved ride-sharing plan within 90 days of notification. The company also agreed to join a transportation management association and attend at least six meetings a year. *COMPANY: Chevron USA, Loma Linda TYPE OF BUSINESS: Service station PENALTY: $5,500 VIOLATION: Failure to properly cover excavated gasoline-contaminated soil removed from an underground gasoline storage tank site. *COMPANY: B.P. Chemicals, Hawthorne TYPE OF BUSINESS: Resin maker PENALTY: $4,000 VIOLATION: Operating portable bins containing resins without a permit. *COMPANY: Rho-Chem Corp., Inglewood TYPE OF BUSINESS: Chemical processing facility PENALTY: $3,000 VIOLATION: Failure to maintain a vapor recovery system and violating permit conditions on fuel use. *COMPANY: Golden Star Oil Co., Long Beach TYPE OF BUSINESS: Service station PENALTY: $2,500 VIOLATION: Operating without a permit.

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