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Fine of $35,000 Unfair, Avalon Says

Officials in Avalon are upset over what they call a “grossly unfair” fine of $35,000 levied against the city for sewage discharge violations by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, even though the fine is less than the board initially recommended.

In a March hearing, the board had recommended a fine of $100,000 but reduced that on appeal after considering the city’s ability to pay and Avalon officials’ stated intent to keep the Avalon waste treatment plant in compliance, said David Gildersleeve, the board’s supervising engineer.

The fine was levied despite explanations by city officials that mechanical failures and employee turnover contributed to violations of the city’s sewage discharge permit at the plant in November and December of 1988.

“We think the facts indicated a much lower fine or no fine at all would have been reasonable,” City Manager Chuck Prince said.

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