December 1, 2010

UPDATE! Don't Get Fined in This Year's Big Storms!

November ended with significant rain fall events. Flooded sites can create expensive consequences.

California’s State Water Resources Control Board has issued new regulations. Effective July 1, 2010, all dischargers are required to comply with Construction General Permit Order 2009-0009-DWQ (the Order) adopted on September 2, 2009.

This means that dischargers whose projects disturb one or more acres of soil or whose projects disturb less than one acre but are part of a larger common plan of development that in total disturbs one or more acres, are required to obtain coverage under the Construction General Permit.


The following are some of the more significant changes in the Order:

Minimum Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) Requirements: Previous Best Management Practices (BMPs) that were required as elements of the SWPPP or suggested by guidance are now imposed as requirements.

Rain Event Action Plan: This Order requires certain sites (Risk Level 2 and 3 dischargers) to develop and implement a Rain Event Action Plan (REAP) that must be designed to protect all exposed portions of the site within 48 hours prior to any likely precipitation event.

Annual Report: The Order requires all projects that are enrolled for more than one continuous three-month period to submit information and annually certify that their site is in compliance with these requirements. The primary purpose of this requirement is to provide information needed for overall program evaluation and pubic information.

Certification/Training Requirements for Key Project Personnel: The Order requires that key personnel (e.g., SWPPP preparers, inspectors, etc.) have specific training or certifications to ensure their level of knowledge and skills are adequate to ensure their ability to design and evaluate project specifications that will comply with General Permit requirements.

To avoid fines during this year’s El Niño, make sure you’re in compliance with California’s latest storm water regulations.

For more information on storm water regulations and compliance issues, email us at or call (949) 453-8085.

June 9, 2010

Bob Dadfar

Bob Dadfar passed away June 3, 2010. He was a member of the E2 Environmental, Inc. family for over 19 years. He will be sorely missed.

April 1, 2010

Contractor's Mistakes Increase Your Liability

Camp Lejeune in North Carolina

Eight hundred and fifty former residents of Camp Lejeune are suing the United States Marine Corp for $4 billion in damages for exposure to toxic tap water, which some claim is responsible for numerous cases of cancer and birth defects. As many as 75,000 Marines and their families, almost 1 million individuals, living at Camp Lejeune, a Marine base in North Carolina base between 1957 and 1987, received drinking water contaminated with several toxic chemicals, including benzene, tetrachloroethylene (PCE), and trichloroethylene (TCE). The former residents believe the Marines knowingly failed to report the hazardous levels of benzene in the tap water.


In 1984, an environmental contractor's test results showed benzene in a well near the base's Hadnot Point Fuel Farm at levels of 380 parts per billion (ppb). The EPA's maximum contaminant level for benzene in drinking water is 5 ppb.

In 1985, the reported amount of benzene in the drinking water was reduced from 380 ppb to 38 ppb, still seven times higher than the MCL. The discrepancy between the two reported quantities was never explained.

In 1994, the contractor's final report listed benzene as a contaminant on the site, but did not state the levels.

In 1996, during a meeting with Moon Township, the contractor indicated that the fuel farm at the site had lost 800,000 gallons of fuel, only 500,000 gallons of which had been recovered. They stated that benzene was "in the deeper portion of the aquifer" and that the "fuel farm is definitely the source."

Benzene Hazards

The EPA has classified benzene as a Group A, human carcinogen, the highest level. According to the EPA's Technology Transfer Network Air Toxics Web Site, long-term exposure to benzene causes various disorders in the blood, including reduced numbers of red blood cells and aplastic anemia in occupational settings; reproductive effects have been reported for women exposed by inhalation to high levels; adverse effects on the developing fetus have been observed in animal tests, and an increased incidence of leukemia (cancer of the tissues that form white blood cells) have been observed in humans occupationally exposed to benzene.

Responsible Party and Contractor Liabilities

Due to poor data quality control, poor project management, and inconsistent reporting from the contractor, the Marine Corps could face increased liability from the former residents of Camp Lejeune and government oversight agencies. The Marine Corps will have to answer questions as to what role they had in the disparity of their contractor's reports and whether they knew of the concealed amounts of benzene in the base's drinking water. Additionally, the Marine Corps will have to prove that they did not have the contractor falsely report the benzene concentrations.

Captain Brian Block, a Marine Corps spokesman, states that the discrepancy is probably just a mistake on the part of the contractor. Kyla Bennett, who spent ten years as an enforcement officer for the Environmental Protection Agency before becoming an ecologist and environmental attorney, reviewed the different reports and said it was difficult to conclude innocent mistakes were made in the contractor's documents.

Regardless of whether the discrepancies in the benzene reporting values were innocent mistakes on the contractor's part or concerted efforts to conceal dangerous benzene levels, the responsible party for the site continues to be the United States Marine Corps, and they will have to take on the additional burden of proving their innocence. Choosing an environmental contractor that is committed to quality data control and management and ethical standards will prevent unnecessary liability in the future.

For more information, email us at

Sources: Report on Marines' Water Omitted Cancer Chemical

Image credit: The Few, The Proud, The Forgotten

January 20, 2010

Industrial Polluters Forced to Spend $5 Billion on Pollution Controls in 2009

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has released enforcement results for FY2009 on a new web-based tool and interactive map that allows the public to search for enforcement actions by location. The maps show facilities where civil enforcement actions were taken for air, water, storm water, and land pollution, and a separate map shows criminal enforcement actions.

Image of USEPA Environmental Actions Map
Viewers can click on specific facilities to find information about specific enforcement actions, including violations and monetary penalties. In addition, viewers can use the zoom function to find out which facilities are located near water bodies that are listed as "impaired” because they do not meet federal water quality standards.

EPA mapped the locations of more than 90 percent of the facilities that were the subject of enforcement actions last year. EPA did not map the locations of drinking water treatment plants due to potential security concerns.

The new mapping tool will help increase transparency, improve access to data, and provide the public with the bigger picture of enforcement activity occurring in communities around the country.

In 2009, the USEPA required polluters to invest more than $5 billion on pollution controls, cleanup, and environmental projects. Business and property owners committed to reduce pollution by approximately 580 million pounds annually once all required controls are fully implemented.

E2 Environmental, Inc. can help protect your interests and make sure you are in compliance with all USEPA regulations and to address potential USEPA enforcement actions so you are not listed on the 2010 Map of All Enforcement Actions.

For more information, email us at