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Heavenly Valley Pays $150k Environmental Fines!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I saw on the website for the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), the agency that regulates hazardous waste,  that they had a settlement with Heavenly Valley ski area for certain violations primarily related to managing their used oil at a maintenance shop.  The total fines and fees excluding their legal fees was $150,000.  Curiously, I searched and did not find any reported news articles.


From my experience, most fines are much less than that, so there must have been other factors that ratcheted up the amount.  Factors can include: a long term pattern of noncompliance; potential for severe impact on the environment; or endangering human health. 


As an Epic Local Passholder (Northstar, Heavenly, Kirkwood), I sent an email to Vail resorts expressing my displeasure with their performance. If anybody has an email for management at Heavenly, I will send it to them as well. 

post #2 of 4

To give them the benefit of the doubt, it's pretty obvious that this is bad business to get yourself into a fine situation; especially considering their corporate stance on being dedicated to the environmental .


So my guess is this was not an intentional or deliberate action from the executive level.

My guess again is this is the unintended outcome from low wages or cost-cutting in terms of employees that led to the outcome.  

While $150,000 may seem high, that's only in the scope of if you are running a small business like an autorepair shop or mom and pop store;  in the scale of a large resort, it is not that much, maybe 1days worth of ticket sales?  

Or in terms of operations, it would be only a small percentag of the cost it took to blow and construct the halfpipe for this year.

In terms of salary, it is only the annual salary of 1 midlevel white collar employee

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 



Sur eI doubt it was intentional.  But is is possibly a result of cost cutting and forcing budgets then turnng a blind eye what they are encouraging the workers and lower level supervisors to do. 

post #4 of 4

yep, we're all guessing.  


But at least in my imagination, I doubt there is any active encouragement of neglect.  More of that management is prioritizing the short term numbers (as what all corporate management are trained to do) and always seeing where they can squeeze more from less.

So I think it's more that the employees assigned 12hours of work to do in 10hours of time, and there aren't repercussions for not completing the lower-prioritized items.  So just pile up all that old oil in that unapproved container over there.  No time to take it for proper disposal, we got to go out and fix and maintain the lifts;


If you caught that Squaw valley Undercover Boss episode; they had a segment with the lift maintenance operator had the same typical grumbling.  I think the situation at Heavenly would be the same if not worse, given that it's even under more corporate pressure than privately held squalpine..



Along those lines, good that they got a fine of that magnitude where it may force them to refocus on the mistakes; rather than just chalking that up as the cost of doing business.

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