Oct 09, 2009

Four Southern California Marine Companies Face Storm Water Fines

Firms discharging to San Pedro Harbor cited, facing fines of up to $177,500

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has filed administrative complaints against San Pedro Forklift, Marine Technical Services, Eagle Marine Services Ltd. and American Marine Corp. All four facilities are tenants of the port of Los Angeles. The administrative complaints each seek penalties of up to $177,500 for alleged storm water violations.According to the EPA, San Pedro Forklift, Marine Technical Services, Eagle Marine Services Ltd. and American Marine Corp. violated the Clean Water Act. The violations committed by the four firms included:&#149 Discharging pollutants in storm water without a storm water permit or not in compliance with a storm water permit;&#149 Failing to develop and implement an adequate storm water pollution prevention plan, which identifies sources of industrial storm water pollution and how the firm intends to manage them;&#149 Failing to develop a site-specific written monitoring plan; and&#149 Failing to use best management practices to prevent and minimize pollutants from entering storm water.“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.”This recent action is part of a comprehensive effort to ensure that ports and their tenants comply with storm water requirements. The EPA and the Los Angeles Regional Quality Control Board conducted a storm water audit of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in May 2007, issuing 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 storm water permits issued to the ports, their tenants and the cities of Los Angeles and Long Beach.