EPA settles stormwater case with KAG West of Tacoma
Company paid $133,225 for failures leading to pollution in Commencement Bay
The US Environmental Protection Agency today announced it has settled a Clean Water Act case it brought against KAG West, LLC, a petroleum transport and delivery facility in Tacoma, Washington for violations of the Washington Industrial Stormwater General Permit.
The company agreed to pay a penalty of $133,225.
In the agreement, the agency noted that between March 2017 and March 2019 KAG West did not comply with its permit when it failed to:
- install and/or maintain Best Management Practices to reduce stormwater pollution,
- immediately cleanup spills,
- use secondary containment to contain spills,
- follow sampling and monitoring procedures,
- file required annual reports, and
- train its employees on the company’s stormwater pollution prevention plan.
“Handlers of large amounts of petroleum have a fundamental responsibility to make sure these kinds of operational problems don’t occur,” says Ed Kowalski, director of EPA Region 10’s Enforcement & Compliance Assurance Division. “When they don’t comply with their permits, EPA and the Department of Ecology will enforce the law.”
EPA estimates the company's failure to comply with its permit requirements resulted in 14,000 pounds of pollutants to annually enter Blair Waterway and Commencement Bay, a Superfund site.
This settlement is the latest in a series of enforcement actions taken by EPA Region 10 to address stormwater violations from industrial facilities and construction sites throughout the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.
Uncontrolled stormwater runoff can cause serious problems for people and the environment, including flooding and property damage; sediment choked rivers and streams; impaired recreational opportunities, including fishing and swimming and in some extreme cases, threats to public drinking water systems.