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Storm Water Inspections in Anchorage, Alaska Result in Numerous Fines

Release Date: 8/24/2005
Contact Information: Kristine Karlson
(206) 553-0290

August 24, 2005

This spring and summer, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 10 conducted storm water inspections at construction sites throughout Anchorage, Alaska. EPA inspected both commercial and residential sites, all of which were required to apply for coverage under EPA’s nationwide storm water Construction General Permit. The permit is meant to protect waterways from sediment, oil and grease, concrete washout and other pollutants that could be discharged from active construction sites. These permit requirements have been in place since 1993 for sites over five acres, and since 2003 for sites between one and five acres.

The inspectors observed violations of the storm water requirements at most of the sites, including failure to adequately plan for and implement erosion and sediment controls; failure to inspect and maintain such controls; and failure to prevent construction site debris and materials from polluting nearby waters. In addition, some operators had failed to even apply for coverage under the Permit.

Kim Ogle, EPA's water compliance unit manager, said "Although we continue to see violations, we're starting to see a positive shift toward greater compliance."

"After four years of outreach and enforcement, developers and general contractors are starting to see that mismanaging storm water runoff from construction sites is not an option." Ogle said. "Twice the number of construction site operators are permitted this year, which means greater protection for Alaska's water quality."

The inspections were conducted using the agency’s Construction Storm Water Expedited Settlement Offer (ESO) Policy, which allows EPA to employ a streamlined enforcement process with lower fines for operators who are first-time violators and where several other criteria are also met.

The inspections have so far resulted in four ESOs, with penalties ranging from $2,600 to $4,250 for the following construction site operators:
  • Ingrim Equipment, Anchorage, AK., penalty $3,850
  • Prestige Homes, Inc., Anchorage, AK., penalty $2,600
  • Dokoozian & Associates, Anchorage, AK., penalty $2,625
  • Earthwork Solutions, Anchorage, AK., penalty $4,250

Some ESO cases not listed above are still awaiting settlement. Other cases could not be dealt with through the ESO process because the violations were more egregious or because site operators had previous violations. Those cases are still under review.

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