is proposing to reissue its stormwater Construction General Permit for a
two-year time period. The permit would apply where EPA is the permitting
authority which is in five states, most territories, and most Indian country
lands. The draft permit utilizes the same terms and conditions as EPA's 2003
permit which expires in July 2008. EPA is proposing the permit to coordinate it
with a second effort that is underway to establish national clean water
standards, known as an effluent limitation guideline, for the construction and
development industry. Upon finalization of the guideline, EPA plans to include
its provisions into a new and improved Construction General Permit to be
reissued no later than July 2010.
Allow me to share with you a very small number of the EPA
settlement announcements I receive on a routine basis. Leading the parade are
stormwater, dust, and toxic materials violations, but the point I want to make
here is that the number of actions has increased year by year, and given the
promised environmental thrust of the incoming administration, the diligence with
which enforcement is pursued is almost certain to rise to higher and higher
fines Pocatello construction site in Idaho”
three construction sites in Idaho were fined a total of $21,800 to settle Clean
Water Act cases filed by U.S. EPA. The enforcement cases arose from inspections
conducted at the start of the construction season this spring. EPA inspectors
checked construction sites for compliance with the nationwide Construction
General Permit, which is part of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination
observed violations at all of the sites visited. Those violations included
failure to apply for coverage under the storm water permit, failure to conduct
required self-inspections, and failure to install and maintain erosion and
sediment controls. The violations were settled using the EPA’s Construction
Storm Water Expedited Settlement Offer Policy, a streamlined enforcement process
with lower fines for operators who are first-time violators and where no
significant environmental harm was yet observed.
EPA fines contractor for Route 114 bank
The construction company that built North Shore Bank's
headquarters was fined $135,000 by the Environmental Protection Agency last week
for polluting five sites, including the bank's Route 114 offices.
Wakefield-based TLT Construction failed to get the proper
permits for storm water discharge and released polluted water in Peabody and at
its construction sites at Reading Memorial High School, Pembroke High School,
Needham High School and Jacobs Elementary School in Hull, according to a press
release from the EPA.
Storm water running off TLT's construction sites contained
sand, dirt, sediment, suspended solids and residues of construction material,
according to the EPA. The sediment can negatively affect water quality.
Chesapeake, Va., Contractor, Alleging Illegal Wetland
Environmental Protection Agency is seeking $137,500 in fines against a local
company, VICO Construction Corp., for allegedly tearing up wetlands illegally
near the Great Dismal Swamp.
Tempe, Arizona Builder Pays $106,000 to Settle Dust
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently settled with Sun State of Tempe,
Ariz. for alleged dust violations that occurred at commercial construction sites
in Maricopa County.
October 2004 to February 2007 Sun State allegedly failed to comply with Maricopa
County rules during earth moving and dust generating operations at construction
projects. Maricopa County inspectors discovered the following
* failure to
install a trackout control device to remove particulate matter from
* failure to
immediately clean up dirt tracked out 50 feet beyond the site,
*failure to water
down disturbed surface areas while conducting earth moving
The primary cause of particulate pollution in the Phoenix
area is wind blown dust from construction and home development sites, road
building activities, unpaved parking lots and roads, disturbed vacant lands, and
paved road dust.
part of the settlement, all current and new Sun State employees involved in
dust-generating activities must complete dust-control training, the company must
certify every six months that training is up-to-date, and employ a qualified
dust control coordinator at all Maricopa County sites equaling or exceeding 5
acres in disturbed surface area.
Home Depot Settles Storm Water Violations
Depot has agreed to pay a $1.3 million penalty and implement a nationwide
compliance program to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Water Act, the
Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency announced
settlement resolves alleged violations that were discovered at more than 30
construction sites in 28 states where new Home Depot stores were being built.
Three of those sites are located in EPA Region 7:
City, Kan., Store #2219, 2614 State Route 156 - failed to submit a Notice of
Intent to build at least 60 days prior to construction.
Springs, Mo., Store #3024, NE Coronado Drive & Adams Dairy Parkway -
building permit was not issued before construction began, proper inspections
were not conducted at least once per week as required, and the Storm Water
Pollution Protection Plan (SWPPP) plan did not include adequate information
regarding the protection of drainage areas near the construction
Neb., Store #3203, 12710 L St. - Home Depot contractor did not file an adequate
SWPPP. Violations included no map of the site, inadequate schedule of
construction activities and inspections, no plan for the use or protection of
existing vegetation, the absence of a work stoppage plan, and inadequate
information regarding reporting and recordkeeping.
Clean Water Act requires that construction sites have controls in place to
prevent pollution from being discharged with storm water into nearby waterways.
Each site must have a storm water pollution prevention plan that sets guidelines
and best management practices that the company will follow to prevent runoff
from being contaminated by pollutants. EPA also requires that all construction
projects larger than one acre obtain a federal permit.
settlement, joined by the state of Colorado, requires that Home Depot implement
a comprehensive, corporate-wide program to prevent storm water pollution at each
new store it builds nationwide. Home Depot must develop improved pollution
prevention plans for each site, increase site inspections, and promptly correct
any problems at its sites. The company must properly train its construction
managers, as well as contractors and their personnel, on the federal storm water
requirements. Home Depot must also implement a management and internal reporting
system to improve oversight of on-the-ground operations and appoint a high-level
company official to oversee compliance at all company construction
government complaint alleged a pattern of violations that EPA discovered through
state and federal inspections of construction sites and by reviewing
documentation submitted by the company. The alleged violations include not
obtaining permits until after construction had begun or failing to obtain the
required permits at all. At the sites that had permits, EPA found violations of
permit requirements that prevent pollution, such as silt and debris, from
getting into storm water runoff. Violations included the failure to maintain
adequate plans to prevent storm water pollution, failure to properly place and
install fences around project areas to prevent silt from getting into storm
water runoff, and failure to install controls at storm drains to prevent soil
and sediments from reaching nearby waterways.
compliance at construction sites is one of EPA's national enforcement
priorities. Construction projects have a high potential for environmental harm
because they cover large areas of land and have had a history of noncompliance
with environmental regulations. Without on-site controls, runoff from
construction sites can flow directly to the nearest waterway and can cause beach
closings, swimming and fishing restrictions, and habitat degradation. As storm
water flows over construction sites, it can pick up pollutants, including
sediment, used oil, pesticides, solvents and other debris. Polluted runoff can
harm or kill fish and wildlife and can affect drinking water
settlement is the latest in a series of enforcement actions to address storm
water violations from construction sites around the country. A similar consent
decree was reached with Wal-Mart in 2005 under which Wal-Mart established a
comprehensive storm water compliance plan and paid a fine of over $3
consent decree, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware,
is subject to a 30-day public comment period and approval by the federal court.
Home Depot is required to pay the penalty within 30 days of the court's approval
of the settlement.