Stormwater project aims to supply enough water for 900 families a year

Developers face stiff penalties for stormwater permit violations

Two Southern California developers and a corporate officer could be penalized $1.9 million by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board for reported violations of their construction stormwater general permit at a multi-use development in Rosemead, including the failure to retain a qualified stormwater manager to oversee inspections, maintenance, repairs and sampling.

The Los Angeles Water Board issued an administrative civil liability complaint against Garvey Garden Plaza LLC, Yang Ming Construction Inc., and Jimmy Duong for allegedly violating statewide stormwater requirements during construction of a housing and commercial complex on a 1.1-acre site.

During a dozen inspections that began Oct.1, 2019, and continued through December 2020, regional board staff found multiple and repeated permit violations. Most significantly, the inspections revealed the absence of a qualified Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan expert whose presence at the Garvey Garden Plaza is a critical requirement of the general permit for activities associated with construction and land disturbances.

The allegations include the unauthorized discharge of 9,283 gallons of sediment-laden stormwater from the southwest corner of the site that flows into the nearby Rio Hondo Channel, threatening to expose humans and wildlife to bacteria, harmful metals and organic compounds.

The developers also allegedly failed to do the following:

  • Install effective perimeter controls.
  • Implement good housekeeping practices for waste management such as cleaning up concrete spills and construction debris and placing secondary containment around portable toilets.
  • Establish adequate controls for the air deposition of trash.
  • Stabilize the construction site entrance and exit.
  • Maintain a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan – the key document for the control of pollutants and stormwater – on site.
  • Provide the correct Risk Level and completion date information in the Stormwater Multiple Application and Report Tracking System database.

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