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Newport Bay boat yards to pay penalties over violations of Clean Water Act

Feb 24, 2021

ORANGE COUNTY – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced settlements with Basin Marine, Inc. and Balboa Boatyard of California, Inc., to resolve Clean Water Act violations for discharging contaminants into Newport Bay. Under the settlements, Basin Marine and Balboa Boatyard will pay a combined $202,132 in penalties and will maintain preventative measures to reduce the discharge of pollutants through stormwater runoff into Newport Bay, an impaired water body for numerous pollutants. The violations pertained to discharges of paint solvents, fuel, oil, hydraulic fluid, and heavy metals, including lead, zinc, and copper. Stormwater discharges containing heavy metals have been found to harm aquatic life and sensitive marine ecosystems.

“It is critical for boatyard facilities to maintain adequate stormwater pollution controls to protect our coastal ecosystems,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Director of the Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division, Amy Miller. “These actions are part of a larger effort to ensure businesses at marinas comply with storm water requirements or face significant Clean Water Act penalties.”

EPA found Clean Water Act violations at Basin Marine during inspections in 2018 and 2019, and at Balboa Boatyard in 2019. The violations at both facilities related to regulations preventing the discharge of pollutants through stormwater as well as the failure to comply with California’s industrial stormwater permit.

At Basin Marine, EPA inspectors found the facility had failed to conduct required stormwater sampling, had not properly cleaned and disposed of identified debris near catch basins, and had exceeded limits for both copper and zinc levels in stormwater. The Balboa Boatyard facility had failed to conduct required stormwater sampling and had not identified sufficient storage capacity to contain the runoff generated during routine, seasonal rain events. Additionally, Balboa Boatyard lacked appropriate management practices to reduce pollutants associated with boat maintenance from being discharged into stormwater.

Newport Bay was first identified by California in 1996 as an impaired water body due to an elevated presence of several toxic pollutants, including metals and pesticides. EPA has worked alongside the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board to reduce these pollutants through the development of Total Maximum Daily Loads in the bay and upstream watershed. Minimizing pollutants in stormwater discharges from boatyards is critical to meeting these long-term water quality objectives.

EPA's settlements with Basin Marine for $142,224 and Balboa Boatyard for $59,908 resolve the CWA violations found at the facilities. Basin Marine’s finalized settlement is available at https://www.epa.gov/ca/consent-agreement-and-proposed-final-order-basin-marine-inc-newport-beach-ca.

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EPA’s settlement with Balboa Boatyard is subject to a 30-day public comment period prior to final approval. The public notice and proposed settlement are available at https://www.epa.gov/publicnotices/notices-search/location/Southwest.

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