EPA Orders Companies to Comply with Clean Water Act at Construction Project in Rincón, Puerto Rico
NEW YORK – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it has taken an enforcement action against two companies, Aurora’s Dream LLC and Bellagio LLC, for stormwater discharge violations of regulations and a permit that serve to reduce pollution from construction runoff.
"It is imperative that developers get stormwater permit coverage for construction projects and implement erosion and sediment controls to protect communities' clean water and associated ecosystems," said EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator Walter Mugdan. “Building without the proper permits and appropriate erosion controls is a violation of the Federal Clean Water Act. EPA is committed to working with developers and contractors so that they can be good stewards for the benefit of the local communities they serve and for Puerto Rico’s coastal waters."
In the administrative compliance order, EPA determined that Aurora’s Dream LLC violated the Clean Water Act for failing to apply for a National Pollutant Elimination Discharge System (NPDES) Permit for discharges of stormwater from construction activities. EPA also found that Bellagio LLC violated requirements of the NPDES Construction General Permit. The companies also altered existing vegetation and excavated site soil without the required implementation of erosion-control best management practices.
The EPA order requires Bellagio LLC to apply for an NPDES permit and both companies to take corrective actions to address stormwater runoff at Finca de Sueño Aurora residential development. The actions include staff training, implementation of erosion and sediment controls, and joint submittals of progress reports every two (2) weeks describing the status and progress of actions taken to comply with the provisions laid out in the order.
Polluted stormwater runoff presents a serious threat to Caribbean coastal waters, including the Rincón Tres Palmas Marine Reserve. EPA works with construction site owners and operators to make sure they have the proper stormwater controls in place so that construction can continue in a way that protects the surrounding environment. Under the CWA, construction activities that disturb one or more acres of land in proximity to protected water bodies must obtain stormwater construction permits and follow the requirements outlined in those permits to reduce pollution runoff. Failure to obtain an NPDES permit or to follow the requirements of an NPDES permit may result in violations of the CWA that can be subject to fines.
More information about EPA’s NPDES permits is available at: https://www.epa.gov/npdes.