The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Georgia-Pacific Wood Products, LLC, of Coos Bay, Oregon, reached a Clean Water Act settlement that is expected to reduce uncontrolled industrial stormwater threats to Isthmus Slough and Coos Bay. The EPA found that Georgia-Pacific Wood Products committed numerous violations of their Oregon state industrial stormwater permit at their Coos Bay facility. As part of the two-part agreement settling the matter, Georgia-Pacific agreed to comply with existing Oregon industrial storm water regulations and pay a $79,000 penalty.
“Stormwater management is a critical part of safeguarding Coos Bay water quality,” said Ed Kowalski, Director of EPA’s Office for Compliance and Enforcement in Seattle. “When sediment, metals, oil and grease are discharged to adjacent waterbodies, downstream water quality is degraded, and fish and wildlife habitat is harmed. Stormwater management not only protects public health and the environment, it’s also a required good business practice.”
Georgia-Pacific agreed to the settlement terms under Oregon’s industrial stormwater permit regulations. Oregon’s program requires facilities to implement comprehensive stormwater controls to minimize the amount of sediment and other pollutants from being discharged in stormwater runoff. EPA performed the inspection and is taking this action as part of a compliance work sharing agreement with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.
Stormwater runoff from the facility discharges – through a series of outfalls – directly to tidally influenced Isthmus Slough, which is considered a tributary to Coos Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Isthmus Slough has “impaired” water quality and does not meet the state of Oregon’s water quality standards.
Some of the violations found during the EPA inspection were:
Georgia-Pacific neither admits nor denies the factual allegations contained in the Consent Agreement and Administrative Order on Consent.
For more about EPA’s role in helping prevent Stormwater Pollution https://www.epa.gov/npdes/npdes-stormwater-program.
SOURCE: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)