"Green" Company to Pay $15 Million for Polluting

"Green" Company to Pay $15 Million for Polluting

Safety-Kleen System Inc. is a national distributor of cleaning solvents. Their products have names like Ecopower motor oil, Icebreaker windshield washer fluid, Khameleon antifreeze and KleenMist II wastewater treatment. They say they are green, well, they better be made of it, because they owe $15 million green ones. The settlement is the result of a case brought by Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, among others, charging the company with unlawful business practices and violations of air quality regulations. Suck on that tail pipe!
That's right, Saftey-Klean has some dirt under the rug. Did you see what they did with their name? That clever spelling of clean? If a company is willing to take such flagrant liberties with the English language, why would anyone be surprised when they stretch the limits of going green so far, that it starts to bleed into blue? Or yellow, depending on which side of the color wheel you prefer. Let's just stick with yellow, as in, yellow-bellied jackasses full of hot air (no, not methane).

Safety-Kleen is based in Plano, Texas, coincidentally or not, the richest city with a population of over 250,000 as of 2008. Their city logo looks like it was designed by Texaco. So then, it's Texas versus California. The ideals of the oil crazed against the green-dreams of left coast Californians.

"What could be more crucial to the quality of life than having clean air to breathe?" Rackauckas stated. "We will continue to hold polluters accountable for harming the environment and our fragile resources."

The district attorney offices of Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, and the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office jointly prosecuted on the grounds of unfair business practices for knowingly selling and providing illegal, petroleum-based solvents to businesses across Southern California. The air pollution control agency, South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) investigated the case.

The additional $3 million is the result of an independent action filed at the same time, and that cash goes to the AQMD for violations of air quality regulations. According to the OCDA's office, the illegal petroleum-based solvents contain 30 times the legal limit of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which turn to smog when exposed to sunlight. Much like a vampire made of oil would evaporate into a smog cloud. Or something like that. The little VOC buggers carry some nasty health risks, too, "including chest pain, throat and lung irritation, coughing, congestion, and can aggravate bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma," said the OCDA.

To top it all off, Safety-Kleen's website is dripping with such colorful slogans as:

  • "Keeping business in balance with the environment."
  • "Setting the standard for responsible cleaning technologies."
  • "Safety-Kleen enables companies to fulfill their green initiatives. We push beyond recycled thinking to break new ground and create an environment that's good for business and the planet. In short, we make green work."

They MAKE green work. If green is the color of greed at all costs, then indeed, the Krafty Kids over at Kleen make green work.


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