Port of L.A. terminal company fined $47,100 for stormwater violations

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, July 30, 2009 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today is proposing a fine of $47,100 against APM Terminals Pacific Limited for violations of its stormwater permit at its Port of Los Angeles facility...

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, July 30, 2009 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today is proposing a fine of $47,100 against APM Terminals Pacific Limited for violations of its stormwater permit at its Port of Los Angeles facility.

According to the EPA, between October 1, 2004 and January 17, 2008, APM Terminals Pacific Limited -- one of the world's largest container terminal companies -- reportedly discharged industrial-activity stormwater at its marine shipping container terminal facility, a violation of Clean Water Act and the California National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System.

"Controlling stormwater pollution is key to improving Southern California water quality," said Alexis Strauss, Water Division director for the EPA's Pacific Southwest region. "Many tools to control stormwater pollution are simply good housekeeping and continued maintenance."

Polluted runoff is a major cause of water pollution, which can carry pollutants from industrial sources, such as metals, oil and grease, acidic wastewater, bacteria, trash, and other toxic pollutants into nearby water sources. The EPA requires industrial facilities to prevent water pollution by complying with federal and state water pollution requirements.

Today's action is part of a larger enforcement initiative focusing on ports to ensure their tenants comply with stormwater requirements. The U.S. EPA and the Los Angeles Regional Quality Control Board conducted a stormwater audit of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in May 2007, and issued 20 administrative orders to the Ports' tenants in November 2007, including APM Terminals Pacific Limited.

The proposed settlement is subject to a 30-day public comment period.
>> Click here for information on today's action or to comment

The federal Clean Water Act requires that municipal and many industrial facilities that discharge wastewater or stormwater directly from a point source into a waterway must obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit. All permits are written to ensure the receiving waters meet water quality standards.

>> More information on wastewater and storm permits

###

More in Urban Stormwater