Four Calif. marine companies face fines for stormwater violations

LOS ANGELES, CA, Oct. 6, 2009 -- The U.S. EPA has filed administrative complaints against against four tenants of the Port of Los Angeles, seeking penalties of up to $177,500 for alleged stormwater violations...

Oct 6th, 2009

• Firms discharging to San Pedro Harbor cited

LOS ANGELES, CA, Oct. 6, 2009 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has filed administrative complaints against San Pedro Forklift, Marine Technical Services, Eagle Marine Services, Ltd., and American Marine Corporation. All four facilities are tenants of the Port of Los Angeles. The administrative complaints each seek penalties of up to $177,500 for alleged stormwater violations.

According to the EPA, San Pedro Forklift, Marine Technical Services, Eagle Marine Services, Ltd., and American Marine Corporation, violated the Clean Water Act.

The violations committed by the four firms included:

a) discharging pollutants in stormwater without a stormwater permit or not in compliance with a stormwater permit;
b) failing to develop and implement an adequate stormwater pollution prevention plan, which identifies sources of industrial stormwater pollution and how the firm intends to manage them;
c) failing to develop a site-specific written monitoring plan;
d) failing to use best management practices to prevent and minimize pollutants from entering stormwater.

"Marine industries are responsible for managing their operations to protect the harbor and beaches from industrial runoff," said Alexis Strauss, Water Division director for the EPA's Pacific Southwest region. "EPA will continue to ensure that facilities hold the proper permits and implement required water pollution control measures."

Polluted runoff is a major cause of water pollution that can carry pollutants, such as metals, oil and grease, acidic wastewater, bacteria, trash, and other toxic pollutants from industrial sources 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 comprehensive effort to ensure that ports, as well as 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 these four firms.

The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have taken positive steps to address the conclusions of EPA's audit in their recently approved Water Resources Action Plan (WRAP). The WRAP includes the framework and mechanisms for compliance with stormwater permits issued to the Ports, their tenants and the cities of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

The federal Clean Water Act requires that municipal and many industrial facilities that discharge pollutants directly from a point source into a waterway obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit.

The EPA has also supported the Ports' development of a Clean Air Action Plan that seeks to reduce emissions of diesel particulates, nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides from port-related sources by nearly 50% by 2011.

For more information on wastewater and storm permits, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/region09/water/npdes

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