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Trucking company to pay nearly $72K for multiple raw milk spills, including incident that killed truck driver


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that a California trucking company has agreed to pay a financial penalty to resolve claims of violations of the Clean Water Act.

In a November 21 news release, the EPA announced that owner and operator of Steve Wills Trucking and Logging LLC agreed to pay a penalty in the amount of $71,967 to resolve claims that the company “discharged to Waters of the United States without a permit,” which is a violation of the Clean Water Act.

According to the EPA, tanker trucks hauling raw milk from the Steve Wills facility near Fortuna, California, were involved in three separate “driving incidents” that resulted in the discharge of milk into waterways in Lake County.

From the EPA:

On January 19, 2020, a tanker truck carrying raw milk on Highway 20 near Glenhaven, CA overturned down an embankment and released raw milk into Clear Lake. On April 12, 2020, a second incident took place when a truck on Highway 20 near Clearlake Oaks, CA overturned down an embankment and released raw milk into Clear Lake. Finally, on December 11, 2021, a truck on Highway 20 east of Lance Road in Lake County overturned down an embankment into Grizzly Creek, a tributary of Cache Creek.

The crash that occurred on December 11, 2021, resulted in the death of the tanker truck driver.

The EPA says that drivers were cited for the January 19, 2020 and April 12, 2020, crashes. The December 11, 2021, crash is still under investigation.

“Improper transport of goods can negatively impact waterways and compromise the safety of workers,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. “When companies fail to manage substances that have the potential to impact waterways the local community, environment, and worker safety is put in danger.”


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