Water Testing Importance: the Ritz-Carlton Resort Violation

Water testing and regulations safeguard the public and the environment from human influence.

by | Aug 2, 2023

Water testing and regulations help protect locations and prevent untreated water contamination, including waste and lead, which can pose public health concerns and can negatively impact the surrounding environment.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has fined the Ritz-Carlton Resort, located on St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, for violating the Clean Water Act and committed the company to environmental restitutions.

The resort was found to have failed to meet monitoring requirements over a period of nearly five years, and failed to report discharges of treated wastewater, according to the EPA news release.

The Clean Water Act

The violations of the Clean Water Act permit have prompted concerns regarding their potential impact on the health of the environment and the resort’s guests. The Clean Water Act (CWA) establishes the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States and regulating quality standards for surface waters, according to the EPA website.

Over that period of nearly five years, the Ritz-Carlton Resort failed to fulfill its obligations under the permit, leading to “significant environmental non-compliance.” This measure is important for the EPA as it helps track repeated violations at a facility.

When applying for and obtaining a permit to discharge under the Clean Water Act, the party or entity assumes the responsibility of monitoring specific pollutants in their discharge and regularly reporting their results. These requirements are fundamental to the EPA’s ability to enforce compliance with the act. During their evaluation of the national data system, the EPA discovered the resort’s insufficient monitoring of treated wastewater discharges from desalination operations, resulting in a violation of the resort’s permit.

Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP)

The Ritz-Carlton Resort will undertake a Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) aimed at preserving the health of local waters and supporting the diverse wildlife that relies on them. The project consists of implementing an oil and water separator and sediment trap to prevent the discharge of oil and sediment into Turquoise Bay.

Additionally, a second sediment trap will be installed to minimize sediment discharge into a wetland located on the resort’s property. These controls are vital for improving water quality and benefiting the people and wildlife that depend on the land and surrounding waters.

EPA Regional Administrator’s Statement

Lisa F. Garcia, the EPA Regional Administrator, highlighted the significance of ensuring companies are held accountable for adhering to essential environmental laws. The Clean Water Act is necessary to protect and preserve public health and safeguard the environment. The EPA’s enforcement represents the importance of upholding compliance and being proactive in preventing violations that could detrimentally impact delicate ecosystems and communities.

Contract Laboratory can help you with water testing. 

Environmental protection and water treatment regulations are a responsibility that all companies and parties should be consistently aware of. Untreated water and a lack of water testing are how cases such as the Ritz-Carlton Resort violated the Clean Water Act.

Contract Laboratory helps with all kinds of water testing such as:

  • Water testing
  • Wastewater
  • Drinking water
  • Freshwater
  • Groundwater
  • Residential water
  • Water systems
  • Water pollutants
  • Water treatment

Contract Laboratory can help your company with all types of water testing by connecting you with our network of certified testing labs. Submit a free test request on our website or call us toll-free at 1-855-377-6821.

See more water testing test requests here.

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