LOS ANGELES (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced July 13 that two Southern California plastic product manufacturers will settle allegations of violating the federal Clean Water Act. According to the EPA, both companies already have returned to compliance with the law.
The two companies are Western States Packaging Inc. in Pacoima, and Direct Pack Inc. in Sun Valley. Western States will pay $25,000 in penalties while Direct Pack will pay $49,900.
EPA inspected the companies’ facilities in 2015 and found violations. The companies use plastic pellets, called “nurdles,” that are about one-fifth of an inch in diameter. Nurdles are used by Western States Packaging as raw material to manufacture food-grade plastic bags and by Direct Pack to manufacture plastic packaging products. In both facilities, nurdles were allegedly spilling and entering storm drains that discharge into the Tujunga Wash and then the Los Angeles River.
“The Los Angeles River provides vital habitat to birds, fish and other organisms that depend on the river for survival,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s acting regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “It is essential that manufacturers take proper steps to prevent nurdles from polluting surrounding waterways and harming local wildlife.”