NEW YORK – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has settled a case against The Ritz-Carlton Resort on St. Thomas, USVI, for its failure to monitor and report on discharges of treated wastewater coming from the resort, as required by the Clean Water Act. The Ritz-Carlton was late with its monitoring requirements over a period that spanned nearly five years, in violation of its Clean Water Act permit. The company will pay a civil penalty of $30,000 and has already addressed the cause of the violations. Additionally, the company will undertake a supplemental environmental project (SEP) estimated to cost approximately $27,000 to protect a wetland and improve water quality in Turquoise Bay.
“The Ritz Carlton is required to monitor its discharges into the ocean under the conditions of the Clean Water Act permit,” said EPA Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia. “EPA will hold companies accountable when they violate critical laws that protect public health and the environment.”
The Ritz-Carlton’s failures to carry out its responsibilities under its permit resulted in significant environmental non-compliance, an important measure that the agency uses to track repeated violations at a facility. When a party applies for and receives a permit to discharge under the Clean Water Act, the person or company is then responsible for monitoring their discharges for specific pollutants and reporting those results. These requirements form the basis of the EPA’s ability to ensure compliance with the Clean Water Act. In this case, EPA’s review of its national data system found inadequate monitoring of treated wastewater discharges from the Ritz-Carlton’s desalination operations, which is a violation of the resort’s permit.
Furthermore, Ritz-Carlton will perform a supplemental environmental project consisting of an oil and water separator and sediment trap to abate the discharge of oil and sediment into Turquoise Bay and a second sediment trap to minimize the discharge of sediment into a wetland on the resort’s property. These controls will improve the health of those waters and will benefit the people and wildlife that depend on them. Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter and Facebook page. For more information about EPA Region 2, visit our website. 23-065