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Federal storm water violations carry potential fines of $32,500 per day
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ordered four tenants at California’s Port of Stockton to comply with federal Clean Water Act storm water regulations.
Industrial materials such as fuel, oil and debris are carried by storm water from these facilities, which discharge directly into the San Joaquin River, and through municipal storm drains running to the river. The San Joaquin River is an impaired waterway.
“Contaminants in storm water run-off are a significant source of water pollution to the San Joaquin River,” said Alexis Strauss, water division director in the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “We’ll be working with the Port of Stockton and its tenants, and the Central Valley Regional Water Board, to resolve various compliance issues noted in our inspections.”
Given the concentration of industrial facilities and their proximity to the San Joaquin River, in March 2008, the EPA and the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board reviewed storm water management practices and conducted inspections at industrial facilities at the Port of Stockton to determine compliance with the state’s industrial storm water permit.
"We are pleased to be working with U.S. EPA to enforce the storm water laws that protect our water resources." said Ken Landau, assistant executive officer, Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board.
These orders require each tenant to fix violations found during the March 2008 inspections, including on-the-ground corrective measures.
The EPA has issued orders to the following Port of Stockton tenants:
• A-Plus Materials Recycling;
• Alco Iron and Metal Co.;
• Macsteel Service Centers; and
• Posdef Power Co. LP.
Through its Ports initiative, the EPA’s Pacific Southwest regional office is evaluating storm water management at various ports. This effort involves both individual inspections of port tenants and audits of the municipal storm water programs implemented by the ports. The initiative aims to improve water quality by working with facilities to bring them into compliance and collaborating with states to improve storm water permits for ports.
Ports contain a variety of facilities, including container terminals, boat repair shops and industries related to the transportation of goods. Many of these industries are subject to storm water requirements. Due to their close proximity to our nation's waterways, port industries' compliance with storm water requirements has been identified as an emerging national enforcement priority area.
For more information on the EPA Ports Initiative please visit: www.epa.gov/region09/water/ports/.