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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on October 8th, 2019, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 20, Issue 32 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 20, Issue 32

DA's Office settles with local auto dealer on alleged environmental violations

By William D'Urso

The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office recently announced a resolution with a Buellton auto dealer that didn’t include an admission of guilt, according to a news release.

DA Joyce E. Dudley brought a case against Jim Vreeland Ford to Santa Barbara County Superior Court on Sept 4, alleging that the dealership was in violation of environmental law. The case, the news release from her office said, was referred to the district attorney after three violations had been reported by the Santa Barbara County Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA).

Dudley’s case contended that the dealership had violated hazardous waste control law by not properly labeling containers holding hazardous waste. Dudley’s case also alleged that the dealership hadn’t properly observed the “Above Ground Petroleum Storage Act.” The third and final issue, the complaint said, was the lack of a hazardous materials plan, which is supposed to list the hazardous materials on site should first responders ever need a complete list.

The defendant cooperated, the release said, and will pay $94,600 in civil penalties plus $5,400 to CUPA for the costs of its investigation.

“These statutes exist to protect the public, first responders, and the environment. We are grateful that Jim Vreeland Ford took this matter seriously and has come into compliance with the law,” Dudley said.

When reached for comment, Jim Vreeland read the Sun a prepared statement, but declined to comment further.

“Jim Vreeland Ford is in compliance with all California waste management laws. We are committed to operating our business responsibly. While we are disappointed the District Attorney’s Office chose to file the claims against us, we have worked with the District Attorney’s Office to reach a reasonable resolution of this matter,” Vreeland said.

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