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EPA issues order to Arizona land developer for failing to comply with runoff regulations

Release Date: 11/24/2003
Contact Information: Wendy L. Chavez, (415) 760-5422

SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently ordered an Arizona land developer to comply with stormwater runoff regulations at a property under construction in Anthem, Ariz.

Federal and state regulations require that construction sites have erosion control devices in place to prevent soil and other pollutants from being carried away during a rain and reaching a nearby water body. However, during an inspection at the Corte Bella Country Club development site, the EPA found that Pulte Homes Corporation had insufficient controls in place. The site discharges stormwater to the Gila River.

"Stormwater runoff is a major cause of water pollution and complying with permit requirements -- by large and small companies -- is needed to lessen this problem," said Alexis Strauss, director of the EPA's Water Division for the Pacific Southwest region. "This company has the responsibility to ensure that its construction activities do not pollute waterways."

EPA inspectors discovered that the developer failed to stabilize areas that had been cleared of vegetation, failed to have structural containment at the site, and failed to properly contain hazardous and other materials used during construction activity.

In addition, the company did not have a stormwater pollution prevention plan as required by its stormwater permit. Such a plan sets guidelines and best management practices to prevent stormwater runoff from being contaminated by pollutants generated by the developer's activities.

The EPA order requires Pulte Homes to immediately put in place sediment and erosion control practices at the site and to document the actions to 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 stormwater regulations, visit:

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