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Commerce, Calif., company to spend more than $68,000 for improperly discharging wastewater into the L.A. County sewer system

Release Date: 01/14/2014
Contact Information: Nahal Mogharabi, mogharabi.nahal@epa.gov, 213-244-1815

LOS ANGELES--The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that Air Louvers will pay $43,000 for violations of the Clean Water Act. The Commerce, Calif. manufacturing company was found to be improperly discharging wastewater from its metals finishing operations into the Los Angeles County Sanitation District (LACSD) sewer system. As part of this settlement, Air Louvers will spend an additional $23,350 on equipment upgrades at its facility.

“Toxic wastewater flowing into the Los Angeles sewer system can reach the Pacific Ocean,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “To protect the environment, the federal Clean Water Act requires companies to treat their wastewater before they discharge it.”

Air Louvers owns and operates a facility that manufactures louvers, access panels, metal cabinets and door frames. As part of its production processes, the facility generates and discharges wastewater to the LACSD sewer system.

EPA’s investigations began in August 2010 and discovered that the facility had discharged wastewater above federal limits for copper and zinc from May 2006 to January 2011—a violation of its federal pretreatment discharge requirements. EPA’s standards are designed to protect municipal sewer systems and wastewater treatment plants from adverse effects of toxic discharges, including the potential pass through of toxics to the Pacific Ocean.

In addition to the $43,000 penalty, as part of this settlement, Air Louvers will spend an additional $25,350 to install additional equipment including water recycling and evaporation equipment that will eliminate all wastewater discharges from its manufacturing plant.

The proposed consent agreement is subject to a 30-day comment period and final agency approval. The 30-day public comment period ends on February 12, 2014.

A copy of the consent agreement can be found at: http://www.epa.gov/region9/enforcement/pubnotices/pubnotice-air-louvers.html

For more information on The Clean Water Act, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/lawsregs/laws/cwa.html


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