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Drains are for water, not chemicals

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

Apparently car wash drains are being used for disposal of hazardous materials in Pulaski, but police warn it’s illegal and violators will be prosecuted.

Pulaski Police Officer Megan Jennings said it has come to the attention of law enforcement that some people are using the drains in commercial car washes to dispose of hazardous materials such as fuel from fuel tanks.

“Not only is this improper disposal hazardous for the environment, but it is illegal,” Jennings said. As a matter of fact, she said, it is illegal to dispose of hazardous materials in any drain or body of water.

Virginia’s Fire Prevention Code states, “hazardous materials in any quantity shall not be released into a sewer, storm drain, ditch, drainage canal, creek, stream, river, lake or tidal waterway or on the ground, sidewalk, street, highway or into the atmosphere.”

Violation of the code is a Class 1 misdemeanor, which carries a maximum sentence of 12 months in jail and a fine of $2,500.

“Aside from legal charges, violators will also be responsible for the costs of proper clean-up of the hazardous material, which can be very expensive,” said Jennings. She added that persons caught improperly disposing of hazardous materials will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.