Heartland Automotive Services, Inc., which runs 31 Jiffy Lubes in the Austin area, has to pay a $300,000 fine after admitting to pumping used oil into the city’s sewer system instead of recycling it. Normally shops are paid by the gallon for used oil, but in this case a damaged wall let water seep into the oil collection area and create a toxic mess that couldn’t be sold—so instead of paying to remove it, they pumped it down the drain.
Heartland is trying to blame the pollution on rogue employees, but there’s good reason to believe the company does this consistently and treats it as business as usual. For example, the district attorney’s office says that regional and district managers knew what was going on. In addition, although the fines are addressing illegal discharges in 2006 and 2007, employees have stated that it’s been going on since 2002. And in 2003, Heartland was fined $50,000 for the same illegal discharge activity at a different location in the city.
“Jiffy Lube owner hit with record fine after guilty plea” [Austin Statesman] (Thanks to Stephen!)
“Jiffy Lubes owner admits putting oil down the drain” [Austin Statesman]