Dear Mr. Lockwood,
Thank you very much for your recent letter regarding compliance with
County guidlines pertaining to solid waste storage and removal. (Case
In accordance with your suggestions, I have carefully reviewed a
number of the applicable county statutes and ordinances. Also, in order
to address your concerns in the most comprehensive manner possible, I
have consulted with officials in several state offices, including the
Department of Motor Vehicles, and with representatives of the US
Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Homeland Security,
the Department Of Transportation, and the US Customs service, among others.
As you explained, the alleged violations on your property are not
exactly what they might appear to a casual or uninformed observer.
A. According to the State Department of Motor Vehicles and the US
Department of Transportation, a motor vehicle is defined as "a vehicle
with a motor." Since your truck does not currently qualify as such, you
are quite correct in your assertion that the orginal complaint was
improper. However, in its current state, the truck may qualify,
according to EPA definitions, as a "solid materials retention site."
This qualification typically applies to any collection of "metals,
plastics, textiles, or any combination thereof, exceeding a gross mass
of 100 Kg, and stored in proximity to residential or commercial
buildings, public gathering areas, or industrial sites which lack the
licenses appropriate for such storage." Since you've made it clear that
you understand both the letter and the intent of the applicable codes
and regulations, I've assured the local office of the EPA that you will
be sending copies of your licences, quality control manuals for solid
matter storage and disposal, and also the appropriate certifications and
credentials for your firm's safety and environmental affairs officers,
at your earliest convenience. For your reference, the EPA case number
is 05-122C-90096. The case file will be considered unresolved, pending
investigation, until your documents have been received.
You should also be aware that the local fire department will recieve
a copy of all entries to the EPA file. Given the tone of your letter,
however, I'm sure that your fire-fighting equipment, training of
personnel, and emergency preparedness plans, are all in good order, and
have been properly registered and approved in advance. As soon as the
local fire officials have verified your registrations and certificates,
they'll be able to perform the legally mandated on-site inspections.
Also, just to be as helpful as I can, I would respectfully suggest
that you contact your accountant or tax advisor, to discuss the
possibility that the repairs you're making to the truck might affect its
value as an item of taxable personal property, its status as a
depreciable piece of industrial equipment, or both.
The repairs to the truck, of course, fall under the jurisdiction of
the State Department of Licenses and Inspections, which, if I understand
their guidlines correctly, requires that repairs exceeding certain
levels of cost, complexity, or duration, be performed only by a licenced
automotive technician. Since the removal and replacement of an engine
seems clearly to be a very major repair, I've asked an acquaintance at
L&I to look up your license, and to confirm that it's current and in
good standing. That way, it won't be necessary for them to open a case
file or investigate a violation that I'm sure you'd never be guilty of.
The only other matter concerning the truck will be for the regional
office of the EPA to verify, probably with an on-site inspection that
won't take more than two or three days, that you've followed all
applicable rules and guidelines for collection, storage, and/or disposal
of potentially hazzardous materials produced by your disassembly of the
truck, and your removal of its motor. The materials in question will
include, but not be limited to: motor oil, transmission fluid,
refrigerants from the air conditioning system if the truck is so
equipped, anti-freeze or other ethanol-based coolant additives,
nonbiodegradable plastic and rubber parts, any solvents or chemicals
used for cleaning the parts of the truck or engine, cloth or paper
products which may have been used in conjunction with the solvents or
cleaners, and any rainwater which may have come into contact with, mixed
with, or disolved, any of the above, and which was not collected in
approved catch-basins designed and licensed for that purpose and
operated according to EPA guidelines.
I'm sure, based on your letter to me, that you routinely take all
necessary precautions. The EPA inspectors, when they arrive at your
facility, will very likely be able to save you a great deal of time and
effort if you simply present to them all the applicable permits,
receipts for fees, and certifications from disposal contractors that you
B. Unlike your truck, the tires might actually be a problem. If you'll
please refer to page 14 of this letter...
Or you could just clean up your damned yard, Mr. Lockwood. You
really, REALLY don't want to piss me off right before the holidays.
J. M. Trejo