The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reached settlements with two Southern California plastics manufacturers over federal Clean Water Act violations, the agency announced Wednesday.
Under the terms of the settlements, Modern Concepts Inc., located in Compton, and Double R. Trading Inc., based in the city of Industry, will take steps to prevent plastic materials they manage from washing into local waterways. Combined, the companies will pay more than $35,000 in penalties, according to EPA.
During inspections at the two facilities in 2016, EPA found inadequate containment measures that allowed plastic materials, including pellets known as “nurdles,” to enter local waterways. Nurdles are plastic beads about 1/5-inch in diameter that are widely used in manufacturing. These plastic materials contribute to harmful debris in the nation’s inland and coastal waters and pose dangers to fish, birds and other wildlife.
According to the settlement, Modern Concepts and Double R. Trading failed to install required controls that prevent plastic and other materials from washing into storm drains and discharging into the Los Angeles River and Port of Los Angeles, respectively. Both companies have corrected the violations and returned to compliance, EPA officials said.
“We urge manufacturers to take the steps needed to keep plastic materials out of our waterways, where they harm marine organisms and birds,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “This is but one action among many we can take to minimize the scourge of marine debris.”
EPA coordinated the inspections with the Regional Water Quality Control Board in support of their efforts to reduce plastic pollution in the Los Angeles area.