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2001 News Releases


EPA Orders Massachusetts Developer to Comply with Environmental Laws

Release Date: 12/13/2001
Contact Information: Mark Merchant, EPA Press Office (617) 918-1013

BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it has ordered a Beverly developer to comply with federal stormwater discharge regulations.

Symes Associates, Inc., which is located on Dodge Street, is developing the Cherry Hill Estates on a 49-acre parcel of land in Newburyport.

During construction that took place between April 2000 through July 2001, Symes Associates did not have a permit to discharge stormwater from the site. In addition, Symes had not developed or implemented a plan to mitigate erosion and erosion-impacted stormwater run-off in accordance with federal permitting requirements.

EPA learned of these violations as a result of a series of EPA inspections of construction sites in the region. Following the inspection, Symes obtained a permit and developed an erosion plan.

"Stormwater runoff from construction sites can have a significant impact on water quality," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "It is important for developers to ensure that they have the appropriate controls in place to protect our water resources."

Pollutants in stormwater from construction sites include oil, grease, paints, sand, aggregate, solvents cement and litter. For more information visit: EPA HQ

Stormwater from the construction site is discharged through a wetland to the Merrimack River. EPA's administrative order to Symes Associates requires that it make changes to its stormwater plan to better mitigate the impact of erosion and storm water run-off.

Compliance with the federal General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Construction Activities is required at construction sites in excess of five acres as part of the Phase I stormwater regulations issued in 1990. In March 2003, Phase II of the federal stormwater regulations will lower the threshold to include construction sites of one acre or more.