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EPA Fines Companies for Improper Stormwater Management at Construction Site in Palmas del Mar, Puerto Rico

Release Date: 07/28/2009
Contact Information: Brenda Reyes (787) 977-5869, reyes.brenda@epa.gov

(San Juan, P.R.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has fined a developer and a construction company for their failure to obtain a permit and follow federal regulations for handling stormwater runoff from the Harbour Lakes residential development in Palmas del Mar, P.R. The two companies, Palmas Lakes, Inc. and F& R Contractors, agreed to pay fines totaling $100,000.

F&R Contractors failed to obtain permits under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program, and Palmas Lakes, Inc. failed to meet permit requirements. NPDES is a program under the federal Clean Water Act that regulates stormwater discharges associated with sewer systems, and industrial and construction activities. NPDES regulations require owners and operators of construction sites larger than one acre to obtain permits and to develop and implement stormwater pollution prevention plans, including best management practices to minimize the amount of pollutants reaching waterways.

“Improper management of stormwater can have serious environmental consequences for our harbors, rivers, lakes and streams,” said EPA Acting Regional Administrator George Pavlou. “EPA remains vigilant in holding accountable those who refuse to comply with federal laws.”

Sediment runoff rates from construction sites are typically 10 to 20 times greater than those from agricultural lands, and 1,000 to 2,000 times greater than those of forest lands. Sediment discharges from construction sites can cause physical and biological harm to waterways.

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For more about EPA’s municipal storm water permitting program visit: http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater/munic.cfm.

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