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Puget Sound-area developers fined nearly $50,000 for storm water run-off violations

Release Date: 09/27/2010
Contact Information: Margaret McCauley, EPA Compliance and Enforcement, (206) 553-6232, mccauley.margaret@epa.gov; Tony Brown, EPA Public Affairs, (206) 553-1203, brown.anthony@epa.gov

(Seattle – Sept. 27, 2010) Two Puget Sound-area developers have agreed to pay a total of $49,000 for inadequate storm water controls at their construction sites on Whidbey Island and Fox Island.

Garco Construction, Inc. of Spokane, Washington and Robert West of Scottsdale, Arizona settled with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for alleged Clean Water Act violations at construction projects at the U.S. Naval Air Station on Whidbey Island and Fox Island, Washington, respectively.

“We know that storm water is the number one source of pollution in Puget Sound,” said Edward Kowalski, Director of EPA’s Office of Compliance and Enforcement in Seattle. “Developers can do their part by following the law and taking measures to prevent polluted run-off at their construction sites.”

Garco Construction, Inc. will pay $34,000 for several violations at its construction site at a consolidated fuel storage facility at the Naval Air Station on Whidbey Island. Robert West will pay $15,000 for several storm water violations noted during an inspection at its Fox Island construction site in June 2010 following a citizen complaint.

Alleged violations at the construction sites included failing to install and maintain erosion and sediment controls; failing to update a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan; failing to conduct sufficient self-inspections and (in the case of Robert West) failing to obtain the proper permits.

Under the Clean Water Act, owners and general contractors at construction sites larger than one acre must apply for coverage under a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Construction General Permit, which limits stormwater runoff. Each operator must design, install and maintain stormwater controls to prevent construction area runoff from polluting nearby streams and lakes. Without these controls, pollutants typically associated with construction sites, such as sediment, oil and grease, and concrete washout can enter nearby waterways.

Clean Water Act violations can result in penalties of up to $32,500 per day, per violation.

For more about EPA’s storm water Construction General permit, visit: http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/home.cfm?program_id=6

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