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Storm Water Inspections Find Construction Sites with Clean Water Violations

Release Date: 6/14/2004
Contact Information: Kim Ogle
(206) 553-0955

June 14, 2004

EPA Storm Water Inspections at 12 Boise Area Construction Sites Find 14 Operators in Violation of the CWA; So Far, Proposed Penalties Range from $500 to $13,000 So Far, Proposed Penalties Range from $500 to $13,000

According to Agency officials, this initiative represents 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).

EPA inspected a combination of permitted and unpermitted sites. While all sites had visible storm water management problems, some sites had more numerous and serious infractions. EPA intends to resolve most of the violations using the agency's newly-approved Expedited Settlement Offer (ESO) Policy, The ESO can be used which allows EPA to use an expedited enforcement process when construction sites meet certain criteria, including that sites are less than 50 acres and operators are first-time violators. The recent inspections resulted in nine ESOs, with proposed penalties ranging from $500 to about $13,000.

Kim Ogle, EPA’s water quality enforcement manager, said managing storm water responsibly at construction sites should be a key part of every developer’s site plan.

“It’s no secret that storm water runoff from construction sites can harm water quality,” Ogle said. “The law requires that regulated operators obtain permit coverage, and write 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 compliance assistance – just isn’t acceptable.”

EPA expects to issue three more complaints through the traditional enforcement process, where sites were too large to qualify for resolution through the ESO process. Those actions result in higher fines.
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