Pep Boys Fined Millions For Hazardous Waste Dumping

As folks who work on vehicles, we all have a responsibility to dispose of our waste ...

As folks who work on vehicles, we all have a responsibility to dispose of our waste in the proper way. The most convenient option might be just dumping fluids or batteries wherever there’s room. However, it certainly isn’t good for the environment. In fact, not only is bad for the environment but it’s also highly illegal.

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Instead, there are recycling centers at different facilities that are designed to be able to do away with waste more effectively. This concept is even more prevalent for major brands that carry out lots of automotive work.

Reports have come out that Pep Boys automotive stores have failed to live up to these environmental standards. Instead, at least one Pep Boys store has been accused of foul play.

According to Fox 5 San Diego, “Pep Boys automotive stores in San Diego and across the state were routinely and illegally throwing automotive fluids, batteries, aerosol cans, electronic devices and other regulated hazardous waste in dumpsters destined for municipal landfills not authorized to accept hazardous waste, according to the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office.”

In order to pay for their misconduct, the company will be on the hook for $3.7 million. For those looking to do damage control here, they probably were hoping that this is where the bad news would stop. However, it seems as if the company has a couple of other loose ends to tie up.

The news comes in the midst of other allegations that the chain has found themselves tied up in. The most recent include the company failing to shred sensitive customer records. Fox 5 San Diego reports that Pep Boys threw documents in the trash containing customers’ financial information. This occurred from 2014 through 2017, says the outlet. This is normal, but the fact that they didn’t shred it first isn’t.

If we flip the page back a couple of years, we also find fines paid by Pep Boys for false advertising and violating the clean air act.

“Stores are required to properly manage hazardous waste and to retain their waste in segregated, labeled containers to minimize the risk of exposure to employees and customers and to ensure that incompatible waste does not combine to cause dangerous chemical reactions. Hazardous waste produced by California Pep Boys stores through damage, spills and returns is being collected by state-registered haulers, taken to proper disposal facilities and properly documented and accounted for, investigators added.

The settlement requires a monetary payment of $3.7 million, which consists of $1.82 million for civil penalties, $260,000 for supplemental environmental projects and $425,000 to reimburse investigative and enforcement costs.

Of the total, the San Diego DA’s Office will receive $168,000 and San Diego County Department of Environmental Health will receive $21,000. Pep Boys gets a credit of $1.2 million against the penalties if it undertakes at least $2.4 million in environmental enhancement work not required by law.

In addition, the settlement includes provisions requiring Pep Boys to undergo a trash receptacle audit to ensure hazardous waste and confidential consumer information is properly disposed of at all facilities.”

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