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U.S. EPA orders home developer to comply with Clean Water Act requirements for construction projects in inland southern California

Release Date: 12/30/2003
Contact Information: Mark Merchant, (415) 947-4297; or Francisco Arcaute (213) 452-3378

LOS ANGELES -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered Del Webb Corp., a Michigan-based home developer, to comply with federal Clean Water Act regulations for construction projects at two of its developments in Beaumont, Calif.

Federal and state regulations require that construction sites have erosion and sediment control devices in place, as well as other requirements to prevent water contamination. However, during Nov. 6 inspections at properties Del Webb is developing in Beaumont, EPA inspectors found insufficient controls in place, including:

  • spills of concrete wash water, paint, stucco wash water and paint wash water;
  • small oil fuel spills, paint, stucco and curing compound spills;
  • overflowing concrete wash-out areas that were overflowing into storm drains;
  • litter and staining from stucco and paint spills throughout the site;
  • portable toilets placed in storm drains;
  • straw wattles, sand bags and silt fence uses to control stormwater runoff were improperly installed and maintained throughout the site; and
  • heavy sediment from construction on streets within the development.

"Runoff from construction sites is a significant cause of water pollution," said Alexis Strauss, director of the water division in the EPA's Pacific Southwest Regional office in San Francisco. "Complying with Clean Water Act permit requirements by the largest and smallest companies is needed to lessen this problem. They are simple, basic steps that have major impacts."

The EPA order requires Del Webb to immediately correct the problems and comply with the Clean Water Act at these two sites, and to document these actions with the EPA. Failure to comply with this order could make the company liable for civil penalties by the EPA of $27,500 per day.

For more information on U.S. EPA regulations for construction sites, visit: