EPA Takes Action Against Five Construction Companies in Massachusetts and New Hampshire to Address Clean Water Violations
BOSTON (May 18, 2022) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached settlements with five Massachusetts and New Hampshire construction companies for violations of stormwater regulations that serve to reduce pollution from construction runoff. Under the settlements, the five companies agreed to pay penalties and follow the terms of their permits for discharging stormwater.
"In order to protect communities' clean water, developers must get stormwater permit coverage and implement erosion controls," said EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash. "As we enter the busy construction season in New England, EPA is committed to ensuring developers comply with our rules so that they can perform their work, while being good stewards of the environment."
All construction sites one acre or larger, with the potential to discharge stormwater to surface waters, are required to obtain coverage under EPA's General Permit for Discharges from Construction Activities, comply with the terms of the permit, and thereby minimize sediment discharges.
The recent enforcement actions include:
- GAIR, LLC agreed to pay a $6,600 penalty for allegedly failing to renew permit coverage at the Jennings Road development in Charlton, Mass. The site also lacked complete erosion controls.
- Harbor Classic Homes, LLC agreed to pay a $6,750 penalty for allegedly discharging sediment to a stream at the Laurel Hill Estates site in Lancaster, Mass. The company had also paid a $4,200 penalty to EPA in 2021 for failing to have permit coverage at a construction site in Lunenburg, Mass.
- Highfield Homes, LLC agreed to pay a $4,800 penalty for allegedly failing to implement adequate erosion controls at the Highfield Commons site in Rochester, NH.
- Martelli Construction, Inc. agreed to pay a $10,500 penalty for allegedly failing to adequately control erosion at the Greenwood II development site in Holden, Mass. The company had also paid an $8,400 penalty to EPA in 2019 for erosion control failures at the same site.
- U-Haul Co. of Western Massachusetts, has agreed to pay an $18,000 penalty for allegedly failing to obtain permit coverage at a construction site in Lancaster, Mass. Due to a lack of erosion controls at the site, sediment runoff from this site impacted nearby wetlands.
Dirt, sediment and other pollutants carried off construction sites can damage aquatic habitat, contribute to algal blooms, and physically clog streams and pipes. Operators of new construction sites must apply for permit coverage prior to initiating land-disturbing activity.
These settlements are the latest in a series of enforcement actions taken by EPA New England to address stormwater violations from industrial facilities and construction sites around New England.