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CCKA Launches Interactive Water Quality Violations Map

CCKA Launches Interactive Water Quality Violations Map:  http://www.cacoastkeeper.org/

Interactive Map of Mandatory Minimum Penalties in California
CCKA has developed an online interactive map to help the public and state agencies track and improve compliance with water quality laws. This tool maps all dischargers within California’s six coastal Regional Water Boards that have been issued mandatory minimum penalties (MMPs) since 2000, when the laws setting these minimum penalties took effect. MMPs are issued for “serious” and “multiple chronic” water quality violations. Using the map, you can select your Regional Water Board and click on facilities to learn more about their violation records since 2000. The map also highlights facilities that have not violated in recent years. The MMP Map complements CCKA’s regular work to improve the level, targeting, and transparency of state law enforcement activities. Firm, equitable enforcement both improves water quality and ensures fairness to businesses that follow the law. Violations related to sewage releases, industrial wastes, and contaminated groundwater most frequently caused the issuance of MMPs statewide.

California Coastkeeper Alliance (CCKA) works regularly to improve the level, targeting, and transparency of state law enforcement activities.  Firm, equitable enforcement both improves water quality and ensures fairness to businesses that follow the law.  CCKA most recently has developed an online interactive map (displayed below) to help the public and agencies track and improve compliance with water quality laws.  This tool maps all dischargers within the state’s six coastal Regional Water Boards that have been issued “mandatory minimum penalties” (MMPs) in the ten years since the laws setting these minimum penalties took effect.  State data show that 598 facilities merited 15,772 MMPs from January 2000 through December 2009 in these six coastal Regions. By comparison, 801 facilities merited 25,542 MMPs statewide over the same period.  In other words, the majority of MMPs occur along the coast; 75% of violating facilities are located in coastal Regions, accounting for 62% of all MMPs statewide. CCKA’s interactive map illustrates the number of these citations over the ten years for each facility, highlights where facilities have no recent violations, and provides other information to allow communities to have more information about enforcement activities in their area.    Violations related to sewage releases, industrial wastes and contaminated groundwater most frequently caused the issuance of mandatory penalties statewide.

AB 1104 (1999, Migden) and SB 709 (Comm. on Budget, 1999), as amended by SB 2165 (2000, Sher), established mandatory minimum penalties for violators of waste discharge requirements in order to respond to a lack of effective penalties being issued by the State and Regional Water Boards.  Mandatory minimum penalty requirements are issued for “serious” and “multiple chronic” violations, as described in Water Code Sections 13385 and 13385.1 and as implemented through the state’s recently-updated Enforcement Policy.