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Stockton facility may pay $62,000 for injection well violations

Release Date: 04/24/2006
Contact Information: Lisa Fasano, (415) 947-4307

SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today is proposing a fine of $62,758 against SMS Briners Inc. of Stockton, Calif. for failing to monitor and report activities required by its underground injection well permit under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

According to the EPA, SMS Briners failed to:

• conduct injected fluid analysis,

• record tubing-casing annular pressure, and

• submit two quarterly reports from December 2000 to March 2002, as required under its federal permit.

The facility has since provided the reports, and is working with the EPA to ensure continued compliance with its underground injection permit.

“Timely and accurate monitoring to ensure the injected wastewater does not compromise the aquifer is a vital component of our requirements,” said Alexis Strauss, director of the Water Division in the Pacific Southwest region. “Underground injection of wastewater can be an effective means of disposal, but only if the facility complies with the proper requirements laid out in the permit.”

Today’s proposed settlement is subject to a 30-day public review and comment period beginning today and ending May 24.

SMS Briners owns and operates a vegetable brining facility on 17750 East Highway 4 in Stockton, where it injects an average of 97 gallons a minute of non-hazardous brine waste into an underground well approximately 3,300 feet below the surface.

For information about the public notice and comment period, go to:
http://www.epa.gov/region09/water/drinking/dw-enforcement.html

For more information about the Underground Injection Control program, go to:

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