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Gosney and Sons, Inc., settles with EPA over illegal discharges into Los Pinos River

Release Date: 06/22/2006
Contact Information: Michael Risner 303-312-6890, risner.michael@epa.gov Melanie Pallman 303-312-6231, pallman.melanie@epa.gov Elisabeth Evans 303-312-6217, evans.elisabeth@epa.gov

Denver, Colo., June 22, 2006 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 8 has reached an agreement with Gosney & Sons, Inc., of Bayfield, Colo., requiring Gosney to pay $160,000 in penalties for violating the Clean Water Act and EPA’s storm water regulations.

EPA inspectors found the Gosney business discharging pollutants into the Los Pinos River without the required National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit at its Bayfield Pit facility. Moreover, Gosney’s operation disposed of other wastes into an on-site pond. The Gosney business also did not have an adequate Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) plan to control the petroleum products and waste.

Gosney & Sons, Inc., also operated a second sand and gravel operation, Grove Pit, located at the intersection of County Roads 521 and 524 in Bayfield, without an NPDES permit and did not have a storm water pollution prevention plan.

Sand and gravel mining operations are required to have a storm water pollution prevention plan stating best management practices to minimize the discharge of sediment and other pollutants into storm water. During their inspections, EPA representatives also observed no or inadequate best management practices to control sediment and other pollutants generated by Gosney’s industrial operations. Sediment is the second leading cause of water quality impairment in the United States. High levels of sediment can impact aquatic life and drinking water supplies.

EPA Region 8 Assistant Regional Administrator Carol Rushin said, “We hope this settlement sends a message that compliance with federal environmental laws is not only important to protect our environment, but necessary as well.”

The settlement is comprised of three penalties: $115,000 for Clean Water Act and storm water violations at the Bayfield Pit, $38,000 for Clean Water Act and storm water violations at the Grove Pit, and $7,000 for SPCC violations at the Bayfield Pit.

Gosney & Sons, Inc., ceased operations at its Grove Pit site in February 2006. Gosney is now in compliance with SPCC at the Bayfield site.