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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 eight companies that incurred violations resulting in penalties of $2,500 or greater in May: COMPANY: Texaco Refining & Marketing Inc. ,Wilmington TYPE OF BUSINESS: Refinery PENALTY: $550,000 VIOLATION: Numerous violations of California health and safety codes and AQMD permit and equipment requirements. *COMPANY: Chevron U.S.A. Inc., El Segundo TYPE OF BUSINESS: Refinery PENALTY: $13,000 VIOLATION: Excessive volatile organic compound emissions from improperly operating equipment. *COMPANY: GNB Inc., Vernon TYPE OF BUSINESS: Lead smelting firm PENALTY: $6,000 VIOLATION: Public nuisance violation from contaminant emissions during a power outage. The company will spend an additional $10,000 to reduce the likelihood of a future power outage at the Vernon facility. *COMPANY: Technicolor Magna-Crafts Division, Los Angeles TYPE OF BUSINESS: Motion picture film processor PENALTY: $6,000 VIOLATION: Excessive volatile organic compound emissions, failure to keep a record of the types and volatile organic compound content of coatings and solvents used. *COMPANY: E.L. Yeager Construction Co., Colton TYPE OF BUSINESS: Asphalt materials processor and distributor PENALTY: $4,000 VIOLATION: Excessive visible emissions while operating equipment, failure to control fugitive dust emissions, maintaining inadequate records, operating an aggregate processing plant without water sprays. *COMPANY: Buchalter, Nemer, Fields & Younger, Los Angeles TYPE OF BUSINESS: Law firm PENALTY: $3,000 VIOLATION: Failure to implement the incentives in its AQMD-approved ride-sharing plan, failure to update the plan on time. *COMPANY: Kelt Oil & Gas Inc., Torrance TYPE OF BUSINESS: Gasoline storage and dispensing facility PENALTY: $3,000 VIOLATION: Operating several oil and gas production facilities without a valid permit, failure to properly maintain vapor recovery devices. *COMPANY: Boral Resources Inc., Corona TYPE OF BUSINESS: Sand and gravel company PENALTY: $2,500 VIOLATION: Failure to control fugitive dust emissions, operating plant equipment without appropriate air pollution controls, failure to post permits to operate.


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