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EPA INITIATES ACTION TO ASSESS PENALTIES AGAINST 24 FACILITIES IN FLORIDA FOR CLEAN WATER ACT VIOLATIONS

 EPA INITIATES ACTION TO ASSESS PENALTIES AGAINST 24 FACILITIES
 IN FLORIDA FOR CLEAN WATER ACT VIOLATIONS
 ATLANTA, Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has initiated proceedings to assess administrative penalties for a wide range of violations of the Clean Water Act against eight municipalities, 10 industries, and six State Department of Transportation facilities in Florida.
 W. Ray Cunningham, Water Division director of EPA's Southeastern Region, said: "While EPA attempts to work with everyone in achieving compliance with the laws, protection of our creeks and streams is of utmost importance. As shown in these cases, failure to abide by the environmental laws set by Congress will result in federal enforcement action."
 During the months of August and September 1992, the Southeastern Regional Office of EPA issued complaints to the following facilities in Florida:
 City of Lakeland, Polk County $114,607
 City of Blountstown, Calhoun County $125,000
 City of Mulberry, Polk County $107,000
 City of Lake Wales, Polk County $118,165
 City of Vernon, Washington County $46,500
 City of Apalachicola, Franklin County $73,872
 Crescent City, Putnam County $10,000
 Town of Jay, Santa Rosa County $15,000
 Country Meadows Estates, Ltd. (Country Meadows/Golden
 Lakes Mobile Home Community), Hillsborough County $69,902
 Tastemaker, Pinellas County $120,622
 Tropicana Products, Inc., Manatee County $115,062
 Gold Kist, Inc., Live Oak, Suwanee County $44,000
 ITT Rayonier, Inc., Nassau County $24,000
 Uncle John's Pancake House of Jacksonville, Inc.,
 Duval County $5,000
 Mad Hatter Utility, Inc., Pasco County $23,054
 Eastwood Oaks, Ltd. (Eastwood Oaks Apartments), Nassau
 County $15,000
 Ridgecrest Mobile Home Park, Inc., St. Lucie County $25,000
 Bentonwood Mobile Home Park, St. Lucie County $25,000
 Florida Department of Transportation --
 DOT Rest Area I-75 Northbound, Ellisville $50,000
 DOT Rest Area I-75 Southbound, Ellisville $47,000
 I-75 Northbound, Suwanee County $17,000
 I-75 Southbound, Hamilton County $15,000
 I-10 Westbound, Baker County $22,000
 I-10 Eastbound, Baker County $23,000
 Amendments to the Clean Water Act in 1987 gave EPA the authority to assess and collect administrative penalties of up to $125,000 for violations of the act. Assessment of penalties is accomplished by issuance of a complaint, with the facility either paying the penalty, negotiating a settlement, or requesting a hearing. In accordance with the act, each facility and the public have the right to request a hearing on the violations alleged in the complaint and on the penalty assessment. Copies of the complaint and related documents are available from EPA upon request.
 The penalties are the result of a variety of Clean Water Act violations including discharging without a permit, nonsubmittal of reports and documents, and violations of effluent limitations. Unpermitted discharges prevent EPA from setting proper limitations on pollutants. Reporting violations prevent EPA from properly regulating discharges. Pollutants discharged from these facilities place an unacceptable oxygen demand on creeks, streams and other waterways receiving the wastes. Discharged solids, metals and other pollutants can deplete waterways of oxygen and can result in toxic conditions, causing fish kills. Plant and aquatic life could also suffer.
 Four of the complaints were issued as part of the agency's Tampa Bay Initiative, an effort by EPA and other groups to restore and enhance Tampa Bay and its watershed. The Tampa Bay Initiative targets enforcement actions and pollution prevention activities in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Manatee and Polk Counties.
 -0- 10/6/92
 /CONTACT: Charlis Thompson, press office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 404-347-3004/ CO: United States Environmental Protection Agency ST: Florida IN: SU: EXE


BN-EA -- AT009 -- 7128 10/06/92 13:54 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 6, 1992
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