Surfs Up, Dude.
Clark's company was responsible for the manufacture of 80-90% of world's supply of foam blanks for surfboards. The picture that one gets from the seven page fax that Clark sent to his customers in early December, suggests a business encircled by rapacious regulatory agencies, bent on destroying his business. Clark describes incident after incident of regulatory interference with his operations. Based on his description, Clark Foam was ground zero for every regulator in Southern California. His decision to shut down his business was the only reasonable one he could make. Or was it?
According to the Orange County Register, there was no regulatory crackdown at Clark Foam. Most of the agencies
But several government agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, said Tuesday that Clark Foam was in compliance with local, state and federal codes related to its use of hazardous materials and that they were not responsible for his closure.
"There's a whole bunch of surfers out there complaining we shut them down," said EPA spokesman Mark Merchant. "We didn't shut him down."
Merchant said his agency cited Clark Foam in 2003 for minor infractions, including failing to have a proper emergency response plan in place in the event of a chemical spill. The federal agency gave Clark Foam until May 2004 to comply, which it did.
"We haven't heard from him since," Merchant said."
However, Capt. Stephen Miller, a spokesman for the Orange County Fire Authority, which tracks hazardous chemicals, said Tuesday that
"This sounds like this is a business decision," Miller said.
South Coast Air Quality Management District spokesman Sam Atwood said that after an inspection of the plant earlier this year, the regulatory agency questioned the accuracy of C
"We believe it had underreported its toxic emissions," Atwood said. Atwood said inspectors were specifically looking at smog and TDI emissions. It was unclear late Tuesday if
However, Atwood said Clark Foam has never been in violation of AQMD's emission requirements. The agency, which tracks air-quality standards, said it's also never logged any public complaint about
Miller said the fire authority had not fined
So, there you have it folks. A 45 year old family business shut down by over-zealous environmentalists.
No, wait.... What it appears you really have is a half century old family business shut down by a 74 year old nut case with a persecution complex. The losers? A broad swath of craftspeople in the surfing industry and surfers in general who will pay higher prices for potentially inferior products.