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February 17, 2020
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Graniterock ordered to pay fine

WATSONVILLE — Graniterock must pay more than $100,000 for violating pollution rules at two of its Redwood City facilities and one in Aromas, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached a settlement with Graniterock Company over Clean Water Act violations at three of its road materials manufacturing and recycling facilities in Northern California.

The settlement with the EPA requires the company to pay $102,051 to address the issues. Graniterock will also complete a watershed cleanup project as part of the settlement.

“The waterways of San Francisco Bay and the Monterey Peninsula are important to the region’s unique ecology and economy,” said Alexis Strauss, acting regional administrator for EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. “It is critical for industrial facilities to control storm water runoff and prevent oil spills, given the potential to harm precious water resources and wildlife.”

As part of the agreement, Graniterock will also complete a supplemental environmental project, removing 800 cubic yards of trash and debris from the Coyote Creek and Pajaro River watersheds.

The project, which will be completed by October 2019 and cost almost $78,000, will remove contaminants and improve habitat for fish, including endangered steelhead trout. 

An EPA inspection, conducted with the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, found that Graniterock’s Peninsula Road Materials and Peninsula Recycling Services facilities failed to use “best management” practices.

This includes routinely sweeping paved surfaces and using covered storage areas for potential pollutants.

In addition to the settlement, EPA previously ordered Graniterock to improve storm water controls at the Redwood City facilities, and to redirect storm water flows to an active treatment system that will remove pollutants prior to discharge.

The settlement also resolves Graniterock’s violations of the Oil Pollution Act’s Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure requirements at its A.R. Wilson Road Materials facility in Aromas.

In response to the EPA’s inspection, the company has cleaned up all petroleum product leaks and spills at the facility, installed additional secondary containment around petroleum product storage tanks, and conducted tank integrity testing.  

A Graniterock spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment as of press time.

EPA’s proposed settlement with Graniterock is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final approval. It is available at tinyurl.com/y8mnhjjr.

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