Two California-based plastic product manufacturers have agreed to pay penalties for Clean Water Act violations, including failing to operate with the proper stormwater permit, that likely resulted in plastic pellets being washed into the Tujunga Wash and ultimately into the Los Angeles River. The EPA found these violations after inspections were conducted in 2015. The companies, Western States Packaging and Direct Pack, Inc., reached an agreement with the EPA to pay penalties of $25,000 and $42,900, respectively, according to Forrester Network.
The Clean Water Act requires plastics manufacturers to maintain the correct stormwater permits from the state that allow for the proper discharge of industrial stormwater, installation of controls, and the use of best practices that prevent plastics and other contaminants in runoff.
Both companies have solved the problems that led to the violations and are back in compliance.
The violations included operating without the proper wastewater and stormwater permits, not using proper capture devices, not having the necessary systems that would stop plastic materials from entering local waterways, and improper storage of chemicals and industrial wastes.
Organizations that generate wastewater may want to consider decentralized solid waste and waste water management, according to a recent report from Research and Markets. Decentralized solutions mean waste or water is managed at or near the site where it is generated.
Decentralized water technologies and designs include things like water-efficient appliances, rooftop rain gardens, and onsite wastewater treatment and reuse. Decentralized systems also create a host of other benefits, including energy savings, improvements in air quality, creation of green spaces, restoration of streams, aquifers, wetlands, and habitat, and stimulus for new companies and jobs, according to the Decentralized Water Resources Collaborative.
In other EPA news, the organization is under fire from an environmental group that claims a proposed permit covering oil and gas operations around the Gulf of Mexico violates the Clean Water Act. The Center for Biological Diversity says the proposed permit – while it would require companies to keep a list of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing – would not limit the processed water discharge that is regularly dumped overboard, writes WWLTV.