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EPA Reaches Agreement with Cerveceria India to Settle Violations of Clean Water Act

Release Date: 07/15/2004
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(#04111) San Juan, Puerto Rico -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached an agreement with Cerveceria India, Inc., a beverage company located in Mayaguez, to settle a case against the company for failure to comply with its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit issued under the Clean Water Act. Cerveceria India did not comply with monitoring requirements, develop or implement storm water pollution prevention and emergency plans, or obtain permit coverage for unauthorized storm water discharges into Rio Yaguez, as required by the NPDES permit.

"When left uncontrolled, storm water discharges can contaminate waterways and pose serious risks to human health and the environment," said EPA Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny. "By taking simple steps like instituting storm water pollution prevention plans, industrial facilities can ensure that their storm water discharges don't impair water quality in area waters."

Cerveceria India had been violating the NPDES permit since October 1999 and was without permit coverage for storm water discharges for its industrial activities since 1992. According to a complaint issued by EPA in September 2003, the company was not taking steps to control storm water as required by its permit. EPA issued two Administrative Compliance Orders in October 2003 and February 2004 respectively, requiring Cervecerˇa India to submit and implement a compliance plan. Cerveceria India has implemented its plan to come into compliance and has agreed to pay a penalty of $120,000. The company is engaged in the production of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

Companies must get a permit under the Clean Water Act before discharging pollutants into a water body. These permits limit levels of pollution in the wastewater and require facilities to monitor and provide information to EPA about the discharge. Stormwater permits are required because pollutants can run off of paved or hard surfaces and carry pollutants into nearby waters. They require monitoring and pollution prevention plans to minimize runoff of polluted stormwater.