Environmental Protection

EPA Files Stormwater Complaints against Port of LA Tenants

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 EPA, the companies violated the Clean Water Act by:

  • discharging pollutants in stormwater without a stormwater permit or not in compliance with a stormwater permit;
  • 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;
  • failing to develop a site-specific written monitoring plan;
  • 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 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. 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. 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, 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.

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