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South Dakota contractor and land owner pay EPA $34,900 for storm water violations

Release Date: 02/01/2007
Contact Information: Callie Videtich 303-312-6434, videtich.callie@epa.gov Sheldon Muller 303-312-6916, muller.sheldon@epa.gov

(Denver, Colo. - Feb. 1, 2007) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached a settlement with Gil Haugan Construction, Inc. and Bethany Lutheran Home for the Aged for violations of the Clean Water Act’s storm water regulations. The settlement obtained penalties totaling $34,900, with Gil Haugan Construction, Inc. paying $29,900 and Bethany Lutheran Home for the Aged paying $5,000. In addition to paying a $29,900 penalty, Gil Haugan Construction, Inc. also agreed to pay penalties for the next year ranging from $1,000 to $6,000 per day for future violations of the storm water program the company incurs.

Gil Haugan Construction, Inc. was the general contractor for Bethany Lutheran Home for the Aged in building the Bethany Meadows senior living facility located in Brandon, S.D. The companies were cited for failure to obtain storm water permit coverage for construction and failure to follow the provisions of the storm water permit once one was obtained. The storm water permit requires that specific environmental management practices are followed, such as installing and maintaining Best Management Practices to control pollutants in storm water discharges. The Bethany Meadows construction site discharged to a tributary of the Big Sioux River. Construction on the project is now complete.

The storm water regulations, in effect since 1990, were created to protect water quality from storm water runoff. Storm water runoff can carry pollutants, such as fertilizers, pesticides, fecal matter, oil and grease, trash and sediment, from construction sites. Without proper management, these pollutants can enter nearby waters and adversely affect animal and plant life.

Developers, contractors and other land owners who plan to conduct construction activities disturbing one acre or greater of land should contact the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources (SDDENR) to obtain storm water permit coverage. SDDENR can be reached at 1-800-SD-STORM (1-800-737-8676).

Information on storm water requirements in the state of South Dakota may also be found online at:
http://www.state.sd.us/denr/DES/Surfacewater/stormwater.htm.