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Facilities Throughout the Southeast Ordered to Comply with Clean Water Act and Pay Penalties Totaling More Than $200,000

Release Date: 07/15/2009
Contact Information: Davina Marraccini, 404-562-8293, marraccini.davina@epa.gov

(ATLANTA – July 15, 2009) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued Consent Agreements and Final Orders (CA/FOs) against six entities throughout the Southeast between Apr. 1 and Jun. 30, 2009, for violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA). As part of the settlements, the responsible parties in Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina and South Carolina agreed to come into compliance and pay a combined total of $207,500 in civil penalties.

"By taking these enforcement actions, we are sending a strong message about the importance of protecting rivers, lakes and streams across the Southeast,” said Stan Meiburg, EPA Region 4 Acting Regional Administrator. “To protect our region’s waters, these regulated entities must comply with the Clean Water Act and promptly take the steps needed to resolve the violations noted in our inspections.”

Five entities were cited for alleged stormwater-related violations of the CWA. Polluted stormwater runoff is a leading cause of impairment to the nearly 40 percent of surveyed U.S. water bodies which do not meet water quality standards. Over land or via storm sewer systems, polluted runoff is discharged, often untreated, directly into local water bodies. The settlements and associated penalties include:

    Capital City Club, for violations at the Brookhaven Golf Course in Atlanta, Ga. (civil penalty of $157,500)
    Grand Communities, Limited, for violations at its Granite Spring subdivision in Cold Spring, Ky. (civil penalty of $12,000)
    Chase-Reese-Carlisle, LLC, for violations at its Steeplechase subdivision in Richwood, Ky. (civil penalty of $5,500)
    Louisburg Plaza, LLC, for violations at its Louisburg subdivision in Louisburg, N.C. (civil penalty of $5,000)
    BBS Builders and Development Co., LLC, for violations at its Mitchiner Hills subdivision in Clayton, N.C. (civil penalty of $15,000)

A settlement was also reached with Greenwood Metropolitan District, which agreed to pay a civil penalty of $12,500, for exceeding the Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET) requirements of its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit at the wastewater treatment plant in Greenwood, S.C. WET is the total toxic effect of effluent measured directly with a toxicity test. It is a useful parameter for assessing and protecting against aggregate impacts from the discharge of pollutants.

Congress enacted the Clean Water Act (CWA) in 1972 to protect the nation’s rivers, lakes and stream, as well as some of the more fragile and vital wetland habitats. The entities cited violated the CWA by either failing to meet the requirements of their National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits, and subsequently causing point source discharges, or by filling or dredging wetlands. Pollutants of concern include nutrients, sediment, oil and grease, chemicals and metals. When left uncontrolled, water pollution can deplete needed oxygen and/or otherwise result in the destruction of aquatic habitats, as well as the fish and wildlife that depend on them. Water pollution can also contaminate food, drinking water supplies and recreational waterways, and thereby pose a threat to public health.