A Texas-based company operating a chain of auto body repair shops in California has agreed to pay $2.35 million settlement with 11 California counties for improper disposal of hazardous waste and other violations, including at its shop in Dublin.
The case originated in the Alameda County District Attorney's Office in 2016.
Investigators with the district attorney's environmental protection unit conducted an undercover inspection of trash bins at Service King Paint & Body. They found that employees had been illegally disposing of sanding dust, sanding pads, automotive paints, clear coats, solvents, non-empty aerosols and other hazardous substances, prosecutors said.
Then district attorney's offices in other counties conducted their own inspections and found similar violations.
Investigators also found evidence that the company had failed to redact or shred documents with confidential customer information before throwing it in the trash.
In addition to Alameda County, district attorneys' offices in Santa Clara, San Bernardino, San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, Placer, Riverside, Sacramento, Sutter and Yolo counties together filed a civil environmental prosecution against the company.
As part of the settlement announced earlier this fall, Service King will pay $1.35 million in civil penalties, $350,000 to cover the costs of the investigation and $150,000 toward supplemental environmental projects.
The company must also pay $500,000 on equipment to limit the release of hazardous auto body waste in the environment and hire an employee responsible for environmental compliance and training, prosecutors said.
According to the Alameda County DA's Office, Service King was cooperative with the investigation and took steps to improve its compliance with environmental protection laws throughout the process.
District attorney's offices have reached similar settlements with other auto service and repair companies recently, including a $3.3 million settlement with AutoNation and a $1.5 million settlement with Cooks Collision last year.