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Pocatello Construction Sites Fail to Meet Federal Storm Water Requirements

Release Date: 01/08/2008
Contact Information: Chris Gebhardt (206)-553-0253, gebhardt.chris@epa.gov Tony Brown, (206) 553-1203, brown.anthony@epa.gov

(Pocatello, Idaho – Jan. 8, 2008) This past spring, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 10 conducted a series of storm water inspections at construction sites around Pocatello, Idaho. EPA inspectors observed evidence of violations at all of the sites inspected, ranging from minor paperwork issues to failure to properly design, install and maintain storm water controls. Of particular concern were the large developments around Pocatello that lacked established vegetation to stabilize disturbed slopes. Erosion channels were evident on many slopes.

This was the fourth year in a multi-year enforcement initiative in the State of Idaho. The inspections were conducted to assess compliance with EPA’s nationwide storm water Construction General Permit. The permit requires operators of construction sites to design install and maintain storm water controls in order to protect surface waters from common construction site pollutants such as sediment, oil and grease, and concrete washout.

“Operators need to be especially proactive in Pocatello, where steep slopes, a limited growing season, and highly erodible soils make erosion and sediment control more challenging,” said Kim Ogle, EPA’s Region 10 Compliance Unit Manager. “Complying with the permit is mandatory, regardless of these challenges. These operators could have avoided enforcement by better monitoring and maintaining the controls at their sites. ”

The violations were settled using the Agency’s Construction Storm Water Expedited Settlement Offer (ESO) Policy, which allows EPA to employ a streamlined enforcement process, with lower fines, for operators who are first-time violators and where no environmental harm was yet observed.

The inspections resulted in ESOs at the following three sites, with penalties ranging from $4,050 to $14,550:

Site NamePenaltyOperators
Tuscany Hills Development$4,050Tuscany Hills Development, Co.
City Creek Estates$5,950City Creek Estates, LLC
Johnson Excavation, Inc.
Trail Creek Estates$14,550Trail Creek Development, LLC
Johnson Excavation, Inc.

For more information about EPA’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Construction Storm Water General Permit program, visit: http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/index.cfm

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