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U.S. EPA NOTE TO CORRESPONDENTS: PORT OF L.A. TOXIC DREDGE CASE
Release Date: 7/21/1998
Contact Information: Dave Schmidt, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1578
PORT OF LOS ANGELES, MANSON CONSTRUCTION PAY $1 MILLION FOR ILLEGAL
DREDGING/DISPOSAL OF SEDIMENTS UNSUITABLE FOR OCEAN DISPOSAL
(San Francisco)--The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) today announced that the Port of Los Angeles and Manson Construction and Engineering Co. have paid penalties totalling over $1 million to settle alleged violations of federal law involving the dredging and dumping of contaminated sediments in the ocean.
In 1992, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued the Port of Los Angeles a permit authorizing the maintenance dredging of up to 100,000 cubic yards of material per year over a five year period. U.S. EPA alleged that over a two-month period in 1996, the Port and its contractor, Manson Construction and Engineering Co., dredged 23,253 cubic yards in excess of permitted limits, and illegally dumped the sediments into the ocean. Some of these sediments were untested for toxicity, and others were found to be contaminated and therefore not suitable for ocean disposal at U.S. EPA's designated ocean disposal site LA-2, located approximately four miles off the Los Angeles coast line. Some of the dredged sediments were determined to be acutely toxic to marine life.
U.S. EPA alleged that the Port of L.A. and Manson violated the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA), and the conditions of the dredging permit issued under that law, 63 times during February, March, and April of 1996. The Port of L.A. paid an administrative penalty of $525,000, and Manson Engineering paid an administrative penalty of $499,000.
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