Top Air Pollution Penalties

The South Coast Air Quality Management District has responsibility to control air pollution. It can seek court-imposed fines against polluters of $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 caused by negligence and the company's history of violations. These are the 10 top penalties in February:

COMPANY: Midlands Corp., Harbor Greens Apartments, Costa Mesa TYPE OF BUSINESS: Apartment complex owner PENALTY: $25,000 VIOLATION: Improper handling and disposal of asbestos materials, improper training of employees to handle the asbestos-containing products, failure to post warning signs, failure to notify AQMD before removing the materials. *COMPANY: Georgia-Pacific Corp., Buena Park TYPE OF BUSINESS: Corrugated box maker and printer PENALTY: $24,000 VIOLATION: Failure to keep daily usage records of inks and solvents. *COMPANY: Chevron USA, El Segundo TYPE OF BUSINESS: Refinery PENALTY: $8,750 VIOLATION: Operating a boiler contrary to permit conditions, excessive volatile organic compound emissions from equipment leaks, excessive particulate emissions. *COMPANY: Unocal Corp., Carson TYPE OF BUSINESS: Refinery PENALTY: $8,000 VIOLATION: Operating malfunctioning equipment. *COMPANY: Watson Laboratories Inc., Corona TYPE OF BUSINESS: Chemical maker PENALTY: $7,799.06 VIOLATION: Failure to implement the incentives outlined in its 1991 AQMD-approved ride-sharing plan. *COMPANY: McCurdy Circuits, Orange TYPE OF BUSINESS: Circuit board maker PENALTY: $7,000 VIOLATION: Failure to post permits to operate, not operating its scrubber while equipment was running. *COMPANY: R&B; Realty Group, Los Angeles TYPE OF BUSINESS: Apartment complex owner PENALTY: $6,000 VIOLATION: Failure to submit an updated ride-sharing plan. *COMPANY: Lord, Dentsu & Partners, Los Angeles TYPE OF BUSINESS: Advertising agency PENALTY: $4,000 VIOLATION: Failure to submit an updated ride-sharing plan. *COMPANY: Now Construction Corp., Huntington Beach TYPE OF BUSINESS: Excavation and repair of underground storage equipment PENALTY: $3,500 VIOLATION: Failure to properly control volatile organic compound emissions from excavated contaminated soil. *COMPANY: Paramount Petroleum Corp., Paramount TYPE OF BUSINESS: Refinery PENALTY: $3,000 VIOLATION: Leaking naphtha through a malfunctioning valve.

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