One Violation Could Cost Millions Of Dollars!
Violations of hazardous waste disposal can lead to millions of dollars in fines. Recently a California district attorneys’ investigation of Service King with its 40 collision repair shops in their state found violations in 11 counties. While looking into that companies hazardous waste disposal investigators were led to seek a $2.35 million settlement.
Limit the release of hazardous auto body wastes!
Under the settlement, Service King is ordered to pay $1.35 million in civil penalties and must buy $500,000 worth of equipment “designed to limit the release of hazardous auto body wastes into the environment, and recycle solvents and wastewater produced during the automotive painting process.” It also must pay $350,000 in investigation costs and $150,000 “towards supplemental environmental projects.” Service King is responsible to hire a full-time employee within California to handle continual compliance and training.
Smaller shops are not off the radar!
While shops such as Service King, Cooks Collision and AutoNation are larger than the average auto refinish shop, smaller auto refinish shops must realize that they will be held to these same standards as the larger shops with expectations to comply to EPA standards.
Many businesses though they may have what appears to be solid procedures, often employees at the ground level might face time restraints that lead to not follow proper procedures, or not be trained sufficiently.
Similar settlements with other automotive refinish shops have occurred as well such as Cooks Collision ($1.525 million, done prior to the company’s sale to ABRA) and AutoNation ($3.38 million), should be a cautionary tale to any collision or mechanical repairer, particularly those in California. Authorities went after all three companies for alleged violations that are often overlooked by body shops. Not only can these violations cost your shop thousands and into the millions of dollars, they can shut you down.
Here is an article regarding compliance. Six Common Misconceptions About Environmental Compliance.