Guam Shipyard to pay $68,000 for alleged Clean Water violations

Steve Limtiaco, Pacific Daily News USA TODAY NETWORK
Published 10:34 a.m. ChT Jan. 27, 2021


The Guam Shipyard has agreed to pay $68,388 in penalties after federal inspectors in 2017, 2018, and 2019 reportedly saw contaminated runoff from the Shipyard pouring directly into Apra Harbor, which violates the Clean Water Act.

The Shipyard at the time was performing ship repair activity at the Port Authority of Guam’s Hotel Wharf, documents state, and stormwater from the site was flowing into the harbor through drainage pipes.

“Stormwater discharges from the facility likely contain sandblasting grit, paint particles, suspended solids, debris, fuel oils and metals such as zinc and copper as a result of activities that include sand blasting, pressure washing, maintenance, fuel and waste storage,” states a complaint filed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Shipyard employees also were seen discharging non-stormwater into the harbor using a hose, the complaint states.

Inspectors stated the shipyard did not have equipment in place to control potential pollutants or to respond to spills on water or land.

According to the complaint, the alleged violations were noted in October 2017 and September 2018, and the shipyard in October 2018 was given copies of the inspection reports.

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Inspectors visited the shipyard facility again, in September 2019, and noted the same alleged violations, including: unauthorized discharge of industrial stormwater; inadequate measures to control sandblast grit, paint particle and debris from discharging into the harbor; sources of pollution, such as waste piles, in the path of stormwater discharge; and waste, including used oil, being stored without secondary containment measures in place.

The shipyard has agreed to pay $68,388 in civil penalties, or a total of $69,242 if it pays the penalties in four installments. According to the complaint, the shipyard in October 2020 stated it has a limited ability to pay the penalty because it lost about 25% per of its revenue during the pandemic.

The shipyard since September 2019 has: developed a stormwater pollution prevention plan; obtained a discharge permit; installed controls to contain sandblast and paint debris; developed a plan to prevent non-stormwater discharges from entering the harbor; and ensured that spill response equipment is available on site, the complaint and agreement states.

According to the agreement, the shipyard does not admit or deny any of the allegations in the complaint.

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