Posted: Sep 21, 2012 6:25 PM by Connie Tran, KSBY News
Updated: Sep 21, 2012 10:33 PM
The California Department of Fish and Game called a popular, local winemaker a bit of a hero on Friday after the man spotted some illegal dumping off a rural road, and takes action.
Tobin James, of Tobin James Cellars, said he was driving along Old Creek Road near Highway 46 just northeast of Cayucos on Thursday morning. He said he saw an All Valley Environmental Inc. tanker truck backed up against a creek with a hose coming out of it.
James said he pulled over and asked the truck driver what he was doing, and the driver said he had to release some of the weight out of the tanker, in order to get up the windy road.
KSBY spoke with Eric Espinola, the general manager of All Valley Environmental Inc, a company based out of Fresno, and he said they are a company that recycles grease trap and fryer oil from restaurants.
Espinola said they take full responsibility for what they call a "freak accident."
James said, "I think the driver should have said, 'hey I can't make it up these turns on Old Creek, you know, send a tow truck', but to just discharge what's in his tank to make it lighter so he can get up the hill is unacceptable."
A Fish and Game official based out of San Luis Obispo said, "the company admitted it and the company is willing to do whatever it takes to clean it up, and we're working with them at this time.
Fish and Game said the investigation on this case is still pending.
Espinola said the trucker had dumped nearly 500 gallons of a liquid that is 90% water, and 10% grease grime. He said they are sending at least six personnel out to the scene on Saturday to clean up the mess and they say the waste is absolutely not toxic nor hazardous to the brush. Espinola also added that they are doing their own internal investigation to determine whether the trucker should be terminated or not.
Fish and Game said the company faces illegal dumping charges.
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