Martinez, Calif. – Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton announced today that the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office, together with 13 other California District Attorneys have agreed to a $2.5 million dollar settlement with Pick-N-Pull over the company’s illegal disposal of hazardous waste and stormwater pollution issues.
Pick-N-Pull operates 21 facilities in Northern California and is a subsidiary of Schnitzer Steel, Inc. The company buys end-of-life vehicles, sells their parts, and recycles the remaining steel. Contra Costa County joined forces with Santa Clara, San Joaquin, Sacramento, Alameda, and Solano counties to do a series of unannounced waste inspections. The investigation revealed that Pick-N-Pull facilities routinely and illegally disposed of automobile fluids, aerosols, batteries, and electronic devices.
“It is a priority to protect our environment and especially our water ways from harmful pollutants,” said District Attorney Diana Becton. “When contacted by prosecutors, Pick-N-Pull promptly implemented improved training procedures and practices relating to their hazardous waste disposal.”
The judgment provides for $1,850,000 in civil penalties, $350,000 in costs of enforcement, injunctive provisions requiring the implementation of compliance assurance measures as well as $350,000 to environmental projects, which includes the Contra Costa County Fish and Wildlife Propagation Fund.