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Tempe developer Lennar pays $182,519 to settle Clean Air Act violations

Release Date: 10/29/2009
Contact Information: Margot Perez-Sullivan, 415.947.4149 Perezsullivan.margot@epa.gov


Firm will pay for particulate emission control devices on municipal vehicles
SAN FRANCISCO – Tempe, Ariz., developer Lennar Communities Development, Inc., has settled with the Environmental Protection Agency for a total of $182,519 – a combined $38,425 fine and $144,094 supplemental environmental project – in response to alleged dust violations that occurred at residential construction sites in Maricopa County.

“Maricopa County’s particulate air pollution is a serious problem,” said Deborah Jordan, director of the Air Division in the EPA’s Pacific Southwest office. “The EPA works closely with local air quality agencies to enforce existing regulations, and remind companies such as Lennar that not complying with the law will not be tolerated.”

“Air quality is a concern for many who live in and travel through Maricopa County. The resolution of this case provides for positive measures which will help improve air quality in the future,” stated Dennis K. Burke, U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona.

Between November 2003 and January 2005, Lennar Communities Development, Inc., violated Maricopa County air quality rules during residential construction projects at five different sites in the county. Maricopa County air quality inspectors discovered the following violations:
      • failure to install a trackout control device to remove particulate matter from vehicles on seven different occasions;
      • failure to immediately clean up dirt tracked out 50 feet beyond the sites on five different occasions.
In addition to the fine, the company will also spend $144,094 on a supplemental environmental project -- a valuable tool in the agency’s enforcement program that allows a violator to offset a portion of its fine by investing in a project that will benefit the environment. In this case, the company will reduce particulate pollution from entering the air by retrofitting City of Phoenix-owned vehicles and equipment with particulate emission control devices. The project will help alleviate respiratory and air quality problems associated with diesel exhaust.

In Maricopa County, particulate matter - wind blown dust from construction and home development sites, road building activities, unpaved parking lots and roads, disturbed vacant lands, and paved road dust - seriously affects air quality and local health.

Particulate matter, including dust, affects the respiratory system. Particle pollution is a complex mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets in the air. When breathed in, these particles can reach the deepest regions of the lungs, and is linked to a variety of significant health problems - ranging from aggravated asthma to premature death in people with heart and lung disease.

The elderly, children and people with chronic lung disease, influenza, or asthma are especially sensitive to high levels of particulate matter. Particle pollution also is the main cause of visibility impairment in the nation’s cities and national parks.

Maricopa County exceeds the national health standard for particulate matter, or dust. The EPA has classified the county as a serious non-attainment area for particulate matter. The Clean Air Act requires the state to submit a plan containing measures that will reduce airborne particulate matter five percent a year until the area meets the federal air quality standard.


For more information on the EPA’s Office of Air, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/region09/air/

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