Proposed Penalties Range from $1,000 to $8,900
August 10, 2004
The EPA inspected industrial, commercial, and residential sites, some of which failed to obtain a required storm-water construction permit. All sites required permits and all had violations, such as failure to adequately plan for and implement erosion and sediment controls, failure to inspect and maintain such controls, and failure to prevent construction site materials from polluting nearby waters.
The agency has the authority to settle the violations quickly because agency policy allows expedited settlements for construction sites less than 50 acres and for which operators are first-time violators. The inspections resulted in 11 Expedited Settlement Offers (ESOs) with penalties ranging from $1,000 to $8,900.
These inspections represent the first wave of intensive enforcement following three years of compliance assistance for builders and the construction trade regarding the requirements of EPA's national storm-water Construction General Permit (CGP). In 2003 EPA staff gave presentations at workshops throughout the state to further educate the construction community about the stormwater rules.
Kim Ogle, EPA's water quality enforcement manager, said managing stormwater responsibly at construction sites should be a key part of every developer's site plan.
"It's no secret that stormwater runoff from construction sites can harm water quality," Ogle said. "Nor is it a secret that the law requires regulated operators to obtain permits and implement a pollution prevention plan to prevent soil, debris, and contaminated water from polluting our streams, lakes and rivers.
"This widespread array of violations - especially after three years of education and compliance assistance is troubling," said Ogle.
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