Thirteen district attorneys in California, including Contra Costa County DA Diana Becton, have agreed to a $2.5 million settlement with Pick-N-Pull over what they described as the company’s illegal disposal of hazardous waste and stormwater pollution issues.
A subsidiary of Schnitzer Steel, Inc., Pick-N-Pull operates 21 facilities in Northern California, including one at 1015 Market Ave. in Richmond. The company buys end-of-life vehicles, sells their parts and recycles the remaining steel.
A series of unannounced waste inspections by Contra Costa County, Santa Clara, San Joaquin, Sacramento, Alameda, and Solano counties “revealed that Pick-N-Pull facilities routinely and illegally disposed of automobile fluids, aerosols, batteries, and electronic devices,” according to Becton.
The judgement includes $1.85 million in civil penalties, $350,000 in costs of enforcement and compliance measures, and $350,000 to environmental projects, which includes the Contra Costa County Fish and Wildlife Propogation Fund.
“When contacted by prosecutors, Pick-N-Pull promptly implemented improved training procedures and practices relating to their hazardous waste disposal,” Becton said.