Contra Costa, 13 other DA’s agree to settlement
“Pick-n-Pull promptly implemented improved training procedures and practices relating to their hazardous waste disposal.” – Contra Costa DA Diana Becton
By Bobbi Mauler, Executive Assistant to the District Attorney, Contra Costa County
Martinez, CA – Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton announced today, Friday, March 11, 2022, that together with 13 other California district attorneys have agreed to a $2.5 million dollar settlement with Pick-n-Pull over the company’s illegal disposal of hazardous waste and stormwater pollution issues.
Pick-n-Pull operates 21 locations in Northern California, including in Richmond, and is a subsidiary of Schnitzer Steel, Inc. The company buys end-of-life vehicles, sells their parts, and recycles the remaining steel.
According to their website, “established in 1987, the Pick-n-Pull chain of self-service auto parts stores is one of the largest recyclers of end-of-life vehicles in the industry. You bring your tools, pull the parts you need and SAVE lots of money! Pick-n-Pull opened their first store in Stockton, CA in 1984 and has since grown to 46 U.S. and 4 Canadian locations.
Contra Costa County joined forces with Santa Clara, San Joaquin, Sacramento, Alameda, and Solano counties to do a series of unannounced waste inspections. The investigation revealed that Pick-n-Pull facilities routinely and illegally disposed of automobile fluids, aerosols, batteries, and electronic devices.
“It is a priority to protect our environment and especially our water ways from harmful pollutants,” said DA Becton. “When contacted by prosecutors, Pick-n-Pull promptly implemented improved training procedures and practices relating to their hazardous waste disposal.”
The judgment provides for $1,850,000 in civil penalties, $350,000 in costs of enforcement, injunctive provisions requiring the implementation of compliance assurance measures as well as $350,000 to environmental projects, which includes the Contra Costa County Fish and Wildlife Propagation Fund.