EPA warns 20 SoCal port tenants to fix Clean Water Act violations
Federal environmental regulators on Thursday ordered 20 tenants at the two massive Southern California ports to rectify violations of federal Clean Water Act regulations regarding storm water runoff or face potential prosecution.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency notifications, issued in conjunction with local water quality authorities, warned eight tenants at the Port of Long Beach and 12 tenants at the Port of Los Angeles that the various violations would not be permitted to continue and must be corrected.
The Port of Long Beach administration, which holds the storm water permit for most of its tenants, was also named on the orders.
Six of the eight tenants notified at the Long Beach port are cargo facilities, representing more than 21 percent of all the port's cargo terminals. Only four of the 12 tenants found in violation at Los Angeles are cargo terminals, representing more than 18 percent of the port's total cargo facilities. The remaining violators, while located within the ports' boundaries, are ancillary, maritime support, or small single-use facilities.
The orders were based on violations of the Clean Water Act discovered during inspections at the 20 facilities by the EPA and the Los Angeles Regional Water Control Board in May.
Storm water runoff from the various port-area terminals, which the EPA said may contain fuel, oil and debris, is especially worrisome as the discharge can often bypass treatment facilities located further inland and be dumped untreated into the waters of the Long Beach and Los Angeles harbors.
'The health of our rivers, estuaries and ocean depend upon compliance with federal and state water quality statutes,' said Fran Diamond, chair of the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, in a statement.
'It also depends upon taking appropriate action when violations occur,' she added. 'I hope that today's announcement clearly communicates to the business community and to the public that U.S. EPA and the (Los Angeles) Regional Board will continue to vigilantly monitor and enforce the regulations that protect both human health and the environment.'
The May audits and inspections reviewed storm water management practices at industrial facilities located at both ports, including inspections of tenant compliance with the state's industrial storm water permit.
The EPA issued orders to these Port of Los Angeles tenants:
' American Workboats Inc.
' APM Terminals of North America Inc.
' Catalina Freight Lines.
' Cerritos Yacht Anchorage Inc.
' Eagle Marine Services Ltd.
' General Petroleum.
' Marine Technical Services Inc.
' Pacific Harbor Line Inc.
' San Pedro Forklift.
' Seaside Transportation Services LLC
' Star Kist Foods Inc.
' Trapac Inc.
The EPA issued orders to the administration and following tenants at the Port of Long Beach:
' Baker Commodities Inc.
' Cabrillo Boat Shop.
' Georgia Pacific LLC d/b/a George Pacific Gypsum.
' International Transportation Services Inc.
' Mitsubishi Cement.
' Morton International Inc.
' Pacific Coast Container Inc.
' New NGC Inc. d/b/a National Gypsum.