Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet subject to FWPCA

January 26, 2010

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California ruled that the non-retention vessels in the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet, operated by the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD), are point sources subject to the permitting requirements of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA) [also referred to as the Clean Water Act (CWA)]. Exfoliated paint and other materials discharged into water are pollutants under the FWPCA and permits under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) should be obtained.

The court also ruled that the exfoliated paint constitutes a hazardous waste under California law. This results in MARAD being both a generator of hazardous waste and the operator of a hazardous waste storage facility. The court determined that plaintiff environmental advocacy groups were without standing to pursue a claim against MARAD for alleged violation of the open dumping prohibition found in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Arc Ecology v. US Maritime Administration, No. 2:07-cv-2320-GEB-GGH (E.D. Cal., January 20, 2010).

(Source: Bryant’s Maritime News)

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