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News Releases from Region 01

Companies and EPA Settle Matter of Stormwater Discharges during Construction of Somerset, Mass. School

Contact Information: 
David Deegan, EPA Public Affairs (deegan.dave@epa.gov)

BOSTON - An EPA enforcement action resulted in the general contractor and the excavation company who worked on construction of a new high school in Somerset, Mass., correcting violations of the EPA permit to discharge stormwater, and taking necessary steps to protect the local storm sewer system and the Taunton River from contamination.

Bacon-Agostini Construction Co., Inc. of E. Providence, R.I., the general contractor, and K.R. Rezendes, Inc. of Assonet, Mass., the excavation company, also agreed to pay a penalty of $49,500 to settle claims they violated Clean Water Act at the construction site of the new Somerset-Berkley Regional High School.

EPA alleged that the two companies both failed to follow provisions of the 2012 Construction General Permit, which spells out who must apply for permit coverage and how they must control stormwater discharges from the site. In addition, Bacon-Agostini failed to file a notice of its discharges and failed to get a required National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit.

"Carefully following requirements for discharging stormwater from construction sites is an important way construction companies help protect our rivers, lakes and wetlands," said Curt Spalding, regional administrator for EPA's New England office.

The general construction permit covered demolition as well as construction of the new regional high school, parking lots and athletic facilities. Construction activities started in July 2012 and involved work on about 32 acres. The site discharged to catch basins for the town's municipal separate storm sewer system, which in turn discharges to the Taunton River. EPA was alerted to issues at the site by the town conservation agent who reported discharges of turbid, sediment-laden storm water from the site into the municipal system and the Taunton River after rainy weather in August and September of 2012. These sediment discharges also caused significant flooding of Route 138, a major roadway.

During an inspection, EPA found evidence that the companies failed to design or install adequate "best management practices" (BMPs), adequately maintain the BMPs, and have an adequate storm water pollution prevention plan for the site. The inspection also found turbid stormwater discharges from the site to the town storm sewer system.

The companies have since corrected the violations and are in compliance with the federal Clean Water Act and the 2012 construction general permit.

More information on Construction General Permit (www.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater-discharges-construction-activities#overview)