Non-profit environmental groups continue to play a significant role in the enforcement of the Statewide General Permit for Storm Water Discharges Associated with Industrial Activities (Industrial General Permit) in the State of California through the filing of third-party lawsuits. On January 23rd of this year, Law360.com reported that Our Clean Waters has filed a $39 million lawsuit against APM Terminals Pacific LLC (APM), which operates facilities in both the Port of Long Beach and Port of Los Angeles. The suit alleges that APM has been discharging a variety of pollutants, including sediment and heavy metals, into the Los Angeles and Long Beach inner and outer harbors. The group claims that APM has exceeded the pollutant limits established in the 1997 and 2015 general permits.
As demonstrated by this suit, civil penalties can add up quickly, resulting in multi-million-dollar penalty demands by citizens’ groups. Fines of up to $37,500 per day per violation may be levied where a facility violates the Industrial General Permit. It is important to note that exceedances of the Numeric Action Levels listed in the Industrial General Permit do not constitute a violation of the permit. However, failure to monitor, take corrective actions, or complete the required reporting can result in a violation and potential fines.
Additional information is available from the original article which can be found here: https://www.law360.com/articles/883822/enviro-group-lobs-39m-cwa-suit-against-apm-terminals
Alta Environmental’s experts are Qualified Industrial Stormwater Practitioners (QISP). If you have questions about compliance, call us at (888) 608-3010.