Pick-N-Pull to Pay Settlement Over Storm Water Violations

March 17, 2022

The settlement comes after a series of unannounced waste inspections of Pick-n-Pull facilities

Pick-n-Pull, a self-service used auto-parts company will pay more than $2.5 million as part of a settlement over the company’s illegal disposal of hazardous waste.

According to Mercury News, this is a settlement with 14 California district attorneys and Pick-n-Pull also was fined for polluting storm water. The settlement includes $1.85 million in civil penalties, $350,000 in enforcement costs, and $350,000 to be given to environmental projects.

The settlement comes after a series of unannounced waste inspections of Pick-n-Pull facilities, which revealed illegally disposed of auto fluids, aerosols, batteries, and electronic devices. Inspectors in Contra Costa, Santa Clara, San Joaquin, Sacramento, Alameda and Solano counties were part of the investigation.

“It’s a priority to protect our environment and especially our water ways from harmful pollutants,” said Contra Costa District Attorney Diana Becton in a statement, reported Mercury News. “When contacted by prosecutors, Pick-n-Pull promptly implemented improved training procedures and practices relating to their hazardous waste disposal.”

Santa Clara County prosecutors added that investigators began looking into the company after the 2017 Coyote Creek flood that impacted neighborhoods in San Jose, including a Pick-n-Pull location, which found contaminated untreated storm water flowing into the creek, reported Mercury News.

Pick-n-Pull has since installed a storm water treatment system at its San Jose site and $95,000 of the penalty funds will be directed to Keep Coyote Creek Beautiful and the South Bay Clean Creeks Coalition.

Pick-n-Pull owns 21 facilities in Northern California and is a subsidiary of Schnitzer Steel, Inc. The company buys vehicles at the end of their life, sells the parts, and recycles the steel.

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