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News Releases from Region 09

U.S. EPA settles with Caltrans and general contractor for polluting Shasta Lake

Contact Information: 
Soledad Calvino (calvino.maria@epa.gov)

SAN FRANCISCO - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a pair of settlements requiring the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and its general contractor, the Tutor-Saliba Corporation, to pay $80,000 each to resolve violations at the Antlers Bridge Replacement project site on Interstate 5 near Redding, Calif.

EPA inspected the Antlers Bridge site in 2011 and 2013-in response to concerns raised by the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board-and found that Caltrans failed to prevent polluted stormwater runoff into Shasta Lake in violation of the State of California's Construction Storm Water General Permit and the federal Clean Water Act.

"Shasta Lake is our state's largest drinking water reservoir, and protecting it from pollutants associated with highway construction is a priority for EPA," said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA's Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. "California's drought means we need to do all we can to safeguard our dwindling water supplies from contamination."

Caltrans discharged approximately 33,000 pounds of sediment to Shasta Lake, according to EPA estimates. In addition to paying the penalty, under the State's General Permit Caltrans must continue to install and maintain erosion and sediment controls.

Tutor-Saliba, one of the nation's largest general contractors, discharged a total of 8.5 gallons of diesel fuel, 50 gallons of hydraulic fluid, and hundreds of gallons of dewatering slurry to the lake on 25 instances between 2011 and 2013. These self-reported leaks or spills were not covered by a state or federal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit.

At over $129 million, the Antlers Bridge Replacement project is one of the largest and most expensive structures recently built in Northern California. Originally built in 1943, Antlers Bridge is over two decades past its 50-year design life. As one of the primary trucking routes on the West Coast, heavy use has stressed the bridge. Once completed, the new bridge will have a lifespan of 100 years.

These proposed Clean Water Act settlements are subject to a 40-day public comment period, and are available at:

Caltrans: http://www.epa.gov/region9/enforcement/pubnotices/pubnotice-caltrans-d2.html

Tutor-Saliba: http://www.epa.gov/region9/enforcement/pubnotices/pubnotice-tutor-saliba.html

For more information about the EPA's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), please visit: http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/npdes/

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