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Environmental law violations settled by car dealerships

Like just about everywhere else in the country, Georgia car dealerships provide maintenance and repair services to their customers. Anything from fluid changes to tire and brake replacements can be taken care of at these establishments. As such, these dealerships must adhere to environmental law when it comes to the storage and disposal of the waste products generated as part of vehicle repairs and maintenance.

Substances such as oil and transmission fluids, along with materials such as tires, are made up of components and ingredients harmful to the environment and people. For this reason, both federal and state governments often strictly regulate how those hazardous materials are required to be handled by auto dealerships. Sporadic or routine inspections may occur to ensure the applicable regulations are followed.

One such inspection in California revealed that 57 dealerships owned indirectly by AutoNation were in violation of storage and disposal laws. Used oil filters, motor oil and other substances covered by environmental regulations, rules and laws were found simply disposed of in an ordinary trash can. Recently, the company settled the state's lawsuit against it. As part of the agreement, hundreds of thousands of dollars will be spent to improve the dealerships' hazardous waste law compliance.

This is just one example of how failing to comply with environmental law could cost a business. A large corporation such as AutoNation may have the resources to bring the dealerships into compliance, but a small business could sustain significant financial losses under similar circumstances. For this and other reasons, it may be invaluable to consult with an environmental law attorney here in Georgia to ensure that a new, or even existing, business complies with all applicable laws and regulations.

Source:, "AutoNation dealerships settle environmental protection suit", Jason Green, Feb. 26, 2018

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