Wastewater violations bring EPA action on three companies

Sept. 3, 2015

Soil and water in the San Joaquin Valley have high salt levels because of the area’s history of agricultural production.

SAN FRANCISCO— Sept. 1, 2015 — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accused three companies of Clean Water Act violations because of industrial wastewater violations into the city’s sanitary sewer system, according to a press release.

Univar USA Inc., Advanced Food Products and Milk Specialties Global must each submit plans showing their wastewater is treated properly before discharge, reported the release. They must also ensure the wastewater complies with federal and local standards, including limits for electrical conductivity.

The sewer system flows into Mill Creek, noted the release. Salt buildup is damaging to agricultural productivity and sustainability, and soil and water in the San Joaquin Valley have high salt levels because of a history of agricultural production.

"These facilities have been consistently discharging industrial wastewater that results in increased salt loads in Mill Creek," said Jared Blumenfeld, regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest, in the release. "The orders will assist the city of Visalia and the San Joaquin Valley battle the salt problem that threatens the local economy."

EPA inspections documented the violations in January 2014, stated the release. The EPA must receive plans from the companies about wastewater treatment improvements, changes in operations or other strategies to meet pretreatment compliance standards. Regular sampling must be conducted.

Click here to read the entire release.

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