July 10, 2008
Wilmington Salvage Yard Faces Charges
By Denise Nix
A Wilmington-based auto dismantling and salvage business was charged Wednesday with two misdemeanor counts of unlawfully disposing of hazardous materials.
The Los Angeles City Attorney's Office alleges that the Pick Your Part Help Yourself facility at 1232 Blinn Ave. is allowing waste oil and other toxins to pollute the area.
The alleged violations of California's Health and Safety Code were discovered during an April 18, 2007, routine inspection by the city attorney's Wilmington Task Force - formed in 2003 to ensure that businesses in the area comply with environmental laws.
The inspection turned up numerous violations including unlawful storage, handling and disposal of hazardous waste, including aerosol cans, paint and waste oil, according to prosecutors with the City Attorney's Environmental Justice and Protection Unit.
"The most serious violation observed at the facility was waste oil leaking directly into the soil and ground from salvaged car engines and the contamination of the soil and ground at the facility with waste oil," according to a statement from the City Attorney's Office.
The company is scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 26 in Los Angeles Superior Court. If convicted, Pick Your Part Help Yourself faces up to $200,000 in fines, according to prosecutors.
A representative of the company said she has not heard of the case and could not comment on it.
Its Web site calls Pick Your Part the largest self-service auto salvage company in the country.
For more than three decades, the company claims it works in conjunction with its customers to help protect California's natural resources by recycling car metals.
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