The city of Napa is facing a $20,000 fine from the regional arm of a state agency charged with protecting water quality in California.
A tentative Settlement Agreement And Stipulation For Entry of Administrative Civil Liability Order was issued March 2 by the Regional Water Quality Control Board for San Francisco Bay.
The stipulation cites the city's alleged failure, when building Trancas Crossing Park in north Napa, "to timely obtain Statewide NPDES [National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System] Construction Stormwater General Permit coverage and alleged failure to comply with the conditions of the project's Clean Water Act 401 Water Quality Certification," according to the Water Board website.
The order imposes a $20,000 “stipulated administrated civil liability” which includes $3,500 for staff costs.
“The City should know better,” said Chris Malan, Director of Earth Defense for the Environment Now (EDEN), an environmental watchdog group, in a press release. “They have had numerous projects and they know the regulations governing in stream construction.”
John Stephens, also of EDEN, wrote in an email to Napa Patch that the fine against the city "is a shame that needs airing."
Last year, neighbors of the park complained to the city council that work was being done in violation of stormwater rules and that the riverbank was being damaged by heavy equipment and construction during the winter months.
The Water Board website includes photographs of the riverbank showing exposed tree roots and eroded soil, as well as statements submitted by several neighbors.
The settlement order is pending, according to the Water Board website.