Following a federal inspection of the Sims Metal Management’s Port of Redwood City, California, facility, during which regulators found evidence of discharges of PCBs, Mercury, Lead, and Copper the EPA has ordered Sims Metal Management to comply with federal Clean Water Act laws.
In March 2011, EPA inspected the facility to determine compliance with their Industrial Storm Water Permit. During the inspection, enforcement officers found evidence at the facility’s shipping and rail receiving areas that pollutants have been discharged to Redwood Creek, a direct tributary to San Francisco Bay.
Redwood Creek flows between the Port of Redwood City and the Don Edwards National Wildlife refuge and is a tributary to San Francisco Bay.
Records provided by the Port of Redwood City showed that between July 2010 to June 2011, 20 large vessels, collected an average of 22,000 tons of shredded material each from the facility, the contents were bound for global destinations including China. The largest transport during the that period was 35,000 tons of shredded material.
In August 2011, EPA again inspected the facility and took samples of debris and soils in the areas that flow to San Francisco Bay, where the facility conducts shipping and receiving activities. The results of the samples demonstrated elevated PCBs, mercury, lead, copper and zinc.
In its committment to protecting the Bay, its tributaries and its wildlife, by ensuring compliance with environmental permits, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered that Sims Metal Management submit a revised storm water pollution prevention plan and to update monitoring and sampling within 30 days of the order; and to develop and implement storm water pollution counter measures. The EPA’s order also requires Sims Metal Management to develop and submit a plan within 90 days to eliminate these discharges to Redwood Creek within one year. The company must: sample storm water discharges monthly throughout the winter and spring; revise their storm water pollution prevention plan to update monitoring and sampling; and develop and implement storm water pollution counter measures for all areas of activity.