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U.S. EPA fines Emeryville, Calif. company $36,000 for stormwater violations


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently fined Coulter Forge Technologies $36,000 for stormwater violations at its Emeryville, Calif. metal forging facility located at 1494 67th St.

Storm water from the facility runs off into a city collection system, which runs directly into the San Francisco Bay.

“Runoff from industrial sites can pose a serious threat to the Bay’s water quality,” said Alexis Strauss, the EPA’s Water Division director for the Pacific Southwest region. “The Clean Water Act requires companies to comply with permit requirements and take simple, basic steps to prevent pollutants from contaminating stormwater.”

During a September 2006 inspection, the U.S. EPA discovered:
· drums containing waste fluids, surface residues, and/or hazardous materials were stored outdoors;
· evidence of spills of oily substances, product wastes, and other pollutants, as well as significant amounts of debris covering the facility’s storm drains, including metal shavings;
· outdoor storage items were not contained on pallets or under cover;
· poor housekeeping in the outdoor and scrap bin areas; and
· a berm was not constructed along the western perimeter of the facility.

The EPA also discovered that the company failed to update and revise its pollution prevention plan, and conduct and maintain records of the facility’s inspections.

Polluted runoff is the leading cause of water pollution in the San Francisco Bay area. Stormwater runoff can carry pollutants from industrial sources, metals, oil and grease, acidic wastewater, bacteria, trash and other toxic pollutants into nearby water sources. The EPA requires industrial facilities to prevent water pollution by complying with federal and state water pollution requirements.

Today’s settlement follows a December 2006 EPA order that required Coulter Forge Technologies to comply with the stormwater permit.


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