EPA settles federal stormwater violations with North Idaho builder and developer in Coeur d’Alene
Seattle - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently concluded an Expedited Settlement Agreement with Aspen Homes and Development, LLC located in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, resolving violations of the federal Construction General Permit for preventing stormwater pollution. Aspen Homes and Development is the owner and operator of the Riverview Heights construction site in Coeur d’Alene, where numerous alleged violations occurred. The Company agreed to pay a $20,325 penalty as part of the settlement.
EPA’s enforcement action followed an inspection by Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, on EPA’s behalf, responding to a citizen’s complaint received in September 2019. According to documents associated with the case, Aspen Homes and Development compiled a long list of violations by:
- Failing to install and maintain erosion and sediment control measures, which resulted in muddy stormwater runoff leaving the property
- Failing to conduct and document over 25 inspections, and
- Failing to update and maintain Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) records.
Since, in this case, erosion leads to sediment and other pollutants entering the nearby, already-impaired Spokane River, EPA estimates that this action prevented just over 170,000 lbs of sediment from migrating offsite. Uncontrolled stormwater runoff can cause serious problems for people and the environment, including flooding and property damage; sediment choked rivers and streams; impaired recreational opportunities, including fishing and swimming and in some extreme cases, threats to public drinking water systems.
This action was concluded under an Expedited Settlement Agreement. According to EPA officials, Expedited Settlement Agreements offer business and industry a faster, more streamlined process to resolve permit violations with monetary penalties commensurate to the severity of the violations.
This wasn’t the developer’s first contact with EPA’s enforcement program. EPA reached an earlier Clean Water Act settlement with Aspen Homes on July 13, 2017, when the Company paid $11,000 for similar stormwater violations.
For more information about EPA Stormwater enforcement: https://www.epa.gov/npdes/npdes-stormwater-program