Jim Vreeland Ford Settles Environmental Violations with DA
Source: Santa Barbara County District Attorney
Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced today the resolution of a civil lawsuit against Jim Vreeland Motors, Inc., d/b/a Jim Vreeland Ford.
The defendant and the District Attorney stipulated to the entry of final judgment, without admission of liability, in this case filed on September 4, 2019, in the Superior Court for Santa Barbara County.
The Santa Barbara County Certified Unified Program Agency (“CUPA”)—a division of Santa Barbara County Environmental Health Services—referred the case to the District Attorney after discovering violations of three environmental-protection statutes. The Complaint alleged that the defendant violated the Hazardous Waste Control Law by, among other things, not properly labelling hazardous-waste containers and not training personnel in the proper management of hazardous waste. The Complaint further alleged the lack of a Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures Plan, in violation of the Aboveground Petroleum Storage Act. Finally, the Complaint alleged the failure to establish and implement a Hazardous Materials Business Plan—a document necessary for first responders and the public to know what hazardous materials are present and how to safely deal with emergencies.
The defendant cooperated with the District Attorney’s Office to come into compliance and negotiate a resolution to the lawsuit. The Final Judgment includes the following provisions:
- $94,600 in civil penalties.
- $2,500 to the state General Fund, Toxic Substances Control Account.
- $13,750 to the District Attorney’s Office.
- $13,750 to the CUPA.
- $64,600 to the County of Santa Barbara.
- $5,400 to the CUPA for investigation and enforcement costs.
- $10,000 as a supplemental environmental project to the Craig Thompson Environmental Protection Prosecution Fund.
- Injunction making it easier to enforce future compliance with the Health and Safety Code.
District Attorney Dudley said, “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.”