Canyon Plastics Inc. in Valencia, Calif. is paying over $300,000 to resolve violations of the federal Clean Water Act because it lacked proper equipment to control discharges of plastic pellets into local rivers and streams, the Environmental Protection Agency said Dec. 1.
The company will pay a $19,000 fine and spend $292,000 to install new recycling equipment to protect the Santa Clara River watershed, as well as correcting other deficiencies, such as not having the required stormwater permit, the agency said.
“The Santa Clara River is home to the endangered Southern California steelhead trout, and plastic pollution further degrades their habitat,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA's acting regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Canyon Plastics must install the necessary controls and operate in a way that prevents polluted runoff from reaching the river.”
The company, which according to its website makes custom blow and injection molded products for a variety of industries, did not return a call for comment.
EPA said the company has since obtained the required permit to discharge industrial stormwater. It said that during a 2015 site visit, EPA inspectors found leaked or spilled pellets throughout the facility and noted a lack of containment systems like mesh screens within storm drain inlets.
EPA said the new recycling equipment will reduce Canyon's purchase of plastic by 270 tons per year.