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Bay Area Jiffy Lube Parent Slapped With Environmental Fines

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A Jiffy Lube service center. (Jiffy Lube)

A Jiffy Lube service center. (Jiffy Lube)

SAN JOSE (BCN) – A company that owns numerous Jiffy Lube locations in the Bay Area has paid more than $130,000 in fines after agreeing to several settlement requirements for violating environmental regulations, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.

Representatives from county hazardous materials divisions found the company guilty of 29 specific violations, including failing to mark and label tanks or containers storing hazardous waste; storing toxic waste without lids; failing to submit manifests concerning the transport and disposal of hazardous waste and other violations relating to safe operations and emergency preparedness.

Jiffy Lube sites specialize in oil-changing services, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

The violations occurred throughout Jiffy Lube stores in Santa Clara and Contra Costa counties.

M.C. LLC, a family-owned company based in southern California, owns 14 of the Jiffy Lube locations in Santa Clara County and six in Contra Costa County, Deputy District Attorney Nahal Iravani-Sani said.

Officials from both counties decided to file a joint suit, Iravani-Sani said.

The suit was filed civilly, not criminally.

“It was mostly negligence, not intentional,” Iravani-Sani said, adding that there was no need for someone to go to jail.

“It’s really important for businesses to comply with environmental laws,” she said.

Iravani-Sani said that the company had eliminated an environmental compliance position in order to save money.

“It ended up costing them a lot more than that person’s fees,” she said.

In accordance with the settlement agreement, the company has since hired someone to fill that role.

The judgment also requires that Jiffy Lube implement a training program for staff members as well as an internal compliance program—all within 60 days, Iravani-Sani said.

The company has nine to 12 months before it must surrender each of its stores to inspection, Iravani-Sani said.

“It gives them a nice chunk of time to get their operations up to par,” Iravani-Sani said.

The case was jointly investigated by the County of Santa Clara Hazardous Materials Compliance Division and the County of Contra Costa Health Services Hazardous Materials Program and prosecuted by the Environmental Protection Units of the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office and the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office.

M.C. LLC also owns more Jiffy Lube locations in southern California, though Iravani-Sani said she didn’t know if there were any violations committed in that area.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)

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