California Regional Water Quality Control Board
San Francisco Bay Region

Date:  Apr 30, 1999

File No: 2342.04(WBH) David Cerini, Owner Petaluma Mushroom Farm 782 Thompson Lane Petaluma, CA 94952

Subject.    NOTICE OF VIOLATION regarding the Unauthorized Discharge of Wastewater and Polluted Stormwater to Waters of the State - Petaluma Mushroom Farm, 782 Thompson Lane, Petaluma, Sonoma County

Dear Mr. Cerini:

On April 15, 1999, William Hurley and Laurie Taul of my staff conducted an inspection of your Petaluma Mushroom Farm facility. Your plant supervisors, Denis Ronchelli and Fernando Flores, were present during the inspection. The purpose of the inspection was to evaluate your compliance with our January 6, 1999, Notice to Comply. The Notice to Comply was issued in response to the unauthorized discharge of polluted stormwater and washdown water to Marin Creek, a tributary of the Petaluma River, observed by staff on December 11, 1998.

During our April 15 inspection, staff found several areas where your waste management practices continued to be insufficient to prevent the degradation of waters of the State. While you have satisfied the specific requirements of the Notice to Comply, waste management practice deficiencies identified on April 15, were similar to those we brought to your attention last December, and were again resulting in the discharge of polluted stormwater and washdown water from your facility to Marin Creek.

The waste management practice deficiencies and illicit discharges observed on April 15, 1999, and requirements for corrective actions, are described below.

Finding 1
Washdown water used to rinse compost residue from empty mushroom growing containers was draining into two stormwater slot drains located on the north side of the facility. These slot drains are connected to the facility's stormwater collection system which discharges to Marin Creek.

Per your request through Denis Ronchelli earlier this year, my staff conditionally approved use of these two slot drains for collection of clean runoff during storm events. The slot drains were
to remain plugged whenever industrial activities were taking place in this area and until the area was adequately cleaned subsequent to any industrial activities. During the April 15 inspection, staff found the slot drains unplugged, allowing the washdown water to be discharged to Marin Creek. The weather was clear the day of the inspection and several days preceding it.

Required Corrective Actions
Permanently seal the two stormwater slot drains on the north side of the facility. All storm water runoff from this area must be contained and disposed of in an approved manner. Additionally, you have indicated that the outfall pipe located at the northeast corner of the facility has been abandoned such that clean runoff is no longer routed to it. However, my staff observed polluted runoff and washdown water discharging to Marin Creek through this outfall during both the December and April inspections. Therefore, you are required to seal this outfall.

Future use of this outfall or the above mentioned slot drains to route clean roof runoff as you have proposed, is conditionally acceptable if runoff from industrial areas is excluded. Regional Board staff shall be notified if these stormdrain structures are reutilized.

Finding 2
On the south side of your facility, staff observed that a compost pile had spilled over a protective berm, and was completely covering a storm drain inlet. The spillage appeared to be due to careless handling of the compost pile. The berm was installed to divert runoff from industrial activity areas away from this storm drain inlet. However, the inlet is still connected to the stormwater collection system and clean stormwater can become polluted either by compost passing directly through the inlet, or by rain falling directly on the spilled material and into the storm drain. Staff observed trace amounts of compost material within the corresponding stormwater outfall pipe, indicating that stormwater has been polluted in this manner.

Required Corrective Action
The storm drain inlet behind the concrete berm on the south side of your facility is no longer in use and is located in an area of industrial activity. Therefore, this stormdrain inlet must be sealed.
You are hereby requested to submit a technical report, acceptable to the Board's Executive Officer, containing documentation, including photographs, that the corrective actions specified above have been effectively completed.  The technical report shall be submitted no later than May 15, 1999. This is a formal request for technical reports pursuant to Section 13267 of the California Water Code. While we anticipate your cooperation in this matter, failure to respond or late response to this request may subject you to civil liability imposed by the Board to a maximum amount of $ 1000 per day of violation. Any extensions to the deadline set forth above must be confirmed in writing by Board staff.

If you have any questions please contact William Hurley at (510) 622-2364.

Loretta K. Barsamian Executive Officer

cc:       Jeff Holtzman, Sonoma County Deputy District Attorney Betsy Jennings, SWRCB Office of Chief Counsel Mike Rugg, California Department of Fish and Game Michael Lozeau, San Francisco Bay Keeper, Denis Ronchelli, Petaluma Mushroom Farm

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