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Administrative Civil Liability (ACL) Complaints for Public Comments

CALIFORNIA REGIONAL WATER QUALITY CONTROL BOARD
LOS ANGELES REGION

NOTICE OF LODGING OF CONSENT JUDGMENT AND PROPOSED ORDER

Written Comments due by 5:00 P.M., December 30, 2011

 

Notice is given that on November 30, 2011, a Stipulated Consent Judgment and Proposed Order (Consent Judgment) in People of the State of California ex. rel. Regional Water Quality Control Board, Los Angeles Region v. The City of South Pasadena was lodged with the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles. Under the proposed Consent Judgment, the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Los Angeles Region (Regional Board) seeks civil penalties and injunctive relief from The City of South Pasadena (City) for failing to comply with the terms of State Water Resources Control Board Order No. 2006-0003-DWQ, Statewide General Waste Discharge Requirements for Sanitary Sewer Systems (WDR). The Regional Board alleges that the City violated the WDR on 26 occasions by discharging pollutants, including, but not limited to, raw sewage, into waters of the United States and/or waters of the state, in violation of Clean Water Act section 301 and/or Water Code sections 13263 and/or 13376. 

The proposed settlement addresses the City’s problems with its sanitary sewer system and includes the following terms:

Payments

Under the proposed Consent Judgment, the City is liable for a total of $900,000 in civil penalties, according to the following terms:


  • The City shall pay the remainder of $225,000 less the cost to the City of an asset management software system acceptable to the Los Angeles Water Board, which cannot exceed $50,000, to the State Water Pollution Cleanup and Abatement Account within 30 days of entry of the Consent Judgment. If the City fails to make payment within 30 days, the City shall pay a stipulated penalty of $1,000 for each day payment is overdue.

  • The remaining civil penalty in the amount of $675,000 will be suspended. These suspended penalties will be reduced in tiers, depending on the percent of Sewer Repair Work obligations (described below) completed by the City, and deemed satisfied once the City completes all Sewer Repair Work obligations in the proposed Consent Judgment. For example, when the City completes 50% of its obligations, the City will receive a credit of $170,000. The City will receive an additional credit of $170,000 when it completes 75% of its obligations. The City shall pay an additional $50,000 for attorneys’ fees and Regional Board staff investigation and oversights costs to the State Water Pollution Cleanup and Abatement Account within 30 days of entry of the Consent Judgment.

Sewer Repair Work Obligations


The City has completed video analysis of at least half of the City’s sanitary sewer system and must complete the remaining portion on or before December 31, 2012.


The City grouped the condition of the sewer mains into four categories, ranging from optimal pipe condition to serious structural deficiencies. The sewer mains needing spot repairs were also grouped into four categories, ranging from fractures, holes and missing pipe to root intrusion at the lateral connection.


The City shall:

  1. Complete repairs of the sewer mains with serious structural deficiencies and local spot repairs of fractures, holes and missing pipe within 4 years of entry of the Consent Judgment.

  2. Complete repairs of the sewer mains with minor structural deficiencies and local spot repairs of joint displacement, multiple cracks and sags within 10 years of entry of the Consent Judgment.

The repairs identified in items 1 and 2 above are referred to as the Capital Improvement Program (CIP). If the City fails to complete any parts of the CIP by the respective deadlines, the City shall pay the appropriate suspended civil liability amount. If the City fails to complete the CIP within 9 years from the date of entry of the Consent Judgment, the City shall pay additional penalties in the amount of $10,000 a month for each month the City has not completed its CIP. These penalties are an incentive for the City to complete the needed repairs within 9 years.


Other Obligations

In addition to the Sewer Repair Work outlined above, the City shall also:

  • Acquire an asset management software program for its sewer system within 60 days of entry of the Consent Judgment.

  • Implement an approved flow and capacity study of the City’s sanitary sewer system within 3 years of entry of the Consent Judgment.

  • Complete video analysis of its sanitary sewer system by December 31, 2012 and then every 2 years starting January 1, 2013. The City shall also complete any routine maintenance within 60 days from determination that such maintenance is necessary. Sewer mains with serious structural deficiencies and local spot repairs of fractures, holes and missing pipe not previously identified shall be completed within 4 years from the entry of the Consent Judgment or within 1 year of detection, whichever is later. Minor structural deficiencies and local spot repairs of joint displacement, multiple cracks and sags not previously identified shall be completed within 10 years from entry of the Consent Judgment or within 2 years from detection, whichever is later.

  • Implement its Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) control program.

  • Inspect its sewer system’s known “hot spots” every 45 days and complete all required routine maintenance within 45 days of determining that any routine maintenance is necessary.

  • Submit quarterly reports to the Regional Board.

  • Make its best efforts to train and certify its staff through the California Water Environment Association in collection system maintenance.

If the City fails to comply with any of the obligations listed above by their respective deadlines, the City shall pay a stipulated penalty of $1,000 per day the obligation is incomplete.

The proposed settlement is described in the following documents:

The public has an opportunity to comment on the proposed settlement. You may submit written comments, which must be received by 5:00 p.m. on December 30, 2011. Comments should be emailed to kkao@waterboards.ca.gov and must refer to the City of South Pasadena Consent Judgment. All relevant documents may be examined at the Regional Board’s office at 320 West 4th Street, Suite 200, Los Angeles, CA 90013. For additional information, please contact Ms. Kristie Kao at (213) 620-6368 or kkao@waterboards.ca.gov.

Contacts

Program Supervisor
Marley, Hugh (213) 620-6375