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U.S. EPA orders Bay Area company to correct Clean Water Act violations

Release Date: 7/15/2004
Contact Information: Contact: Laura Gentile ( - 415/947-4227 (desk) or 415/760-9161 (cell)

SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered a Redwood City, Calif. company, Seaport Refining & Environmental, to immediately correct violations of the federal Clean Water Act.

The EPA alleges that Seaport, located at 675 Seaport Boulevard, failed to correctly manage toxic wastes in its wastewater before sending it to the local sewage treatment system. The company accepts and treats wastewater generated by local industries.

The company is required to comply with the order by correcting the violations and submitting documentation to the EPA by July 30, or face fines of up to $32,500 per day.

"Sewage treatment plants are vulnerable to the effects of toxic industrial wastewater discharges into the sewers," said Alexis Strauss, the director of the EPA's water division in San Francisco. "Local plants can malfunction if inadequately treated chemicals are sent through these systems."

The EPA determined that the company has not been correctly managing liquid wastes that contain oil, metals and organic solvents before discharging these wastes to the sewage treatment system. The company also failed to adequately collect samples of wastewater and failed to submit monitoring data and other required records to the agency.

Seaport has been in operation since approximately 1992. The wastewater accepted by the facility can contain contaminants such as mercury, metals, solvents and other toxic organic compounds. After treatment, Seaport discharges the wastewater into the South Bayside treatment plant located in Redwood City, which discharges into the San Francisco Bay.

The EPA requires that industries treat toxic chemicals in their wastewater before sending it to the local sewage treatment system.