Action Taken to Protect Water Quality in Puerto Rico

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Posted: Tuesday, July 4, 2017 11:02 am

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that it reached an agreement with Marina PDR Operations, LLC, resolving its alleged failure to apply for and obtain coverage under the 2008 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Multi-Sector General Permit for its discharges of stormwater runoff from the Marina Puerto Del Rey into the Caribbean Sea. The company agreed to pay a civil penalty of $77,500.

"The EPA is working to reduce the amount of pollution entering water bodies," said Acting EPA Regional Administrator Catherine McCabe. "Complying with stormwater regulations helps to protect receiving bodies of water, like the Emajagua River, that eventually discharges into the Caribbean, thus protecting coral and marine habitats."

Marina PDR is a facility that offers mainly storage and maintenance services for boats, including painting and repairs to hulls, fiberglass, and engines. Prior to the settlement announced, EPA brought Marina PDR Operations into compliance with stormwater runoff limits by issuing an Administrative Compliance Order to the company. The order required the company to obtain coverage under the 2015 NPDES Multi-Sector General Permit for its stormwater runoff associated with activities from Marina Puerto Del Rey. By complying with the general permit, the company reduced pollutants going into the Caribbean Sea, including an estimated pollutant reduction per year of 6,519 pounds of total suspended solids, 190 pounds of aluminum, and 815 pounds of iron found in sediments and runoff from activities generated at the marina.

Under the federal Clean Water Act, NPDES requires that certain industrial facilities, including marinas, have controls in place to minimize pollutants from entering nearby waterways through stormwater runoff. Without adequate preventative measures, stormwater can flow over these sites and pick up pollutants, including sediment, oil and grease. The polluted stormwater runoff can flow directly to the nearest waterway and can cause water quality impairments such as siltation of rivers, beach closings, and fishing restrictions. In Puerto Rico, polluted runoff could also cause habitat degradation to coral reef ecosystems.

SOURCE: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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