The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has fined three Massachusetts marinas for violating federal clean water laws. The marinas said that the fines were partly due to communications difficulties with the EPA.
The Salem News reported that Ryan Marine Services and Marblehead Trading Co., both in Marblehead, agreed to pay fines of $20,000 and $15,000, respectively, while Beverly Port Marina will pay a $3,500 penalty.
The EPA announced the enforcement actions in a statement. A total of five marinas and boat yards in Massachusetts were fined. Another local marina, Liberty Marina in Danvers, was cited by the EPA but was not fined.
The EPA said it ordered Ryan Marine Services to stop discharging wastewater from its facility without a permit and to fully comply with the terms of its Clean Water Act stormwater permit.
Ryan Marine Services owner Mark Ryan told the paper that he had not updated his stormwater permit but has now done so. "We're very proud of the way we run things," Ryan told the paper. "That was just an oversight with the permit."
The EPA said that Marblehead Trading Company could not produce documentation of required routine facility inspections, quarterly visual assessments, water quality monitoring results, or annual reports since 2015. The company agreed to pay a $15,000 penalty.
The EPA said it found that Beverly Port Marina was not performing and documenting certain types of mandatory Clean Water Act inspections and water quality monitoring efforts, and also lacked an oil spill prevention plan.
The marina said it would fulfill clean-water permitting requirements, develop stormwater and oil spill management plans, perform and document regular inspections, according to the EPA statement.
The EPA also said that Liberty Marina in Danvers failed to submit its required annual reports and take action to address discharges of certain pollutants above benchmark standards. It ordered the marina to comply with its Clean Water Act permit but did not fine the marina.
Liberty Marina General Manager Peter McAvoy told the paper there was a "communication problem" with the EPA, saying computer problems prevented it from receiving its reports.
"We didn't do anything wrong," McAvoy told the paper.
Two other marinas on Martha’s Vineyard cited by the EPA included Martha's Vineyard Shipyard Inc., which agreed to a $26,526 penalty, and Prime Marina Vineyard Haven will pay a $15,721 fine.
"Marinas are critical to the economic vitality of numerous communities across New England, and it's imperative that those communities have clean water to support local tourism and recreation," Deb Szaro, the acting regional administrator for EPA New England, said in the statement. "The EPA is committed to working with marinas to be good stewards for the benefit of the communities they support and for New England's coastal waters."