Settlements made with two California plastics manufacturers over federal Clean Water Act Violations. The companies failed to contain plastic materials from reaching local waterways where harm can be placed on marine and wildlife. “Under the Clean Water Act, plastic manufacturers must obtain a stormwater permit from the state to discharge industrial stormwater to surface waters. The permit requires the installation of controls and use of best management practices to prevent or minimize the discharges of pollutants in runoff from their operations.”
U.S. EPA requires two Los Angeles area plastics manufacturers to protect local waterways
LOS ANGELES — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recently reached settlements with two Southern California plastics manufacturers over federal Clean Water Act violations. Under the terms of the settlements, both companies will take steps to prevent plastic materials they manage from washing into local waterways. Combined, the companies will pay more than $35,000 in penalties.
During inspections at the two facilities in 2016, EPA found inadequate containment measures that allowed plastic materials, including pellets known as “nurdles,” to enter local waterways. Nurdles are plastic beads about 1/5-inch in diameter that are widely used in manufacturing. These plastic materials contribute to harmful debris in the nation’s inland and coastal waters and pose dangers to fish, birds and other wildlife.
Modern Concepts Inc., located in Compton, Calif., and Double R. Trading Inc., located in City of Industry, failed to install required controls that prevent plastic and other materials from washing into storm drains and discharging into the Los Angeles River and Port of Los Angeles, respectively. Both companies have corrected the violations and returned to compliance.
“We urge manufacturers to take the steps needed to keep plastic materials out of our waterways, where they harm marine organisms and birds,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “This is but one action among many we can take to minimize the scourge of marine debris.”
EPA coordinated the inspections with the Regional Water Quality Control Board in support of their efforts to reduce plastic pollution in the Los Angeles area.
“Trash in our waterways, including plastics, poses a significant threat to public health and wildlife,” said Deborah Smith, Executive Officer of the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board. “Addressing this water quality problem has been a top priority for the Los Angeles Water Board since 2001 to reduce the amount of trash being discharged to the Los Angeles River. This trash-reducing regulatory program was the first of its kind and has prevented tons of trash from entering the river. The Board will continue to work in partnership with EPA to ensure ongoing protection of the Los Angeles River and other regional waterways.”
Are you up-to-date on Clean Water Act regulations and how to protect our waterways from runoff pollution? Are you familiar with Stormwater Management, Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Maintenance, Stormwater Low Impact Development (LID), and Best Management Practices (BMPs)? Don’t make careless mistakes that can lead to violations against your company.
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