EPA reaches five settlements for erosion control violations

May 20, 2022
Five construction companies in New England have recently agreed to pay penalties for alleged violations of stormwater regulations in sediment and erosion control.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently reached settlements with five Massachusetts and New Hampshire construction companies for alleged violations of stormwater regulations that serve to reduce pollution from construction runoff.

Under the settlements, the five companies agreed to pay penalties and follow the terms of their permits for discharging stormwater.

"In order to protect communities' clean water, developers must get stormwater permit coverage and implement erosion controls," said EPA New England Regional Administrator David W. Cash. "As we enter the busy construction season in New England, EPA is committed to ensuring developers comply with our rules so that they can perform their work, while being good stewards of the environment."

These settlements are the latest in a series of enforcement actions taken by EPA New England to address stormwater violations from industrial facilities and construction sites around New England.

The recent enforcement actions include:

  • GAIR LLC agreed to pay a $6,600 penalty for allegedly failing to renew permit coverage at the Jennings Road development in Charlton, Mass. EPA claimed that the site also lacked complete erosion controls.
  • Harbor Classic Homes LLC agreed to pay a $6,750 penalty for allegedly discharging sediment to a stream at the Laurel Hill Estates site in Lancaster, Mass. EPA says that the company had also paid a $4,200 penalty to the agency in 2021 for failing to have permit coverage at a construction site in Lunenburg, Mass.
  • Highfield Homes LLC agreed to pay a $4,800 penalty for allegedly failing to implement adequate erosion controls at the Highfield Commons site in Rochester, NH.
  • Martelli Construction Inc. agreed to pay a $10,500 penalty for allegedly failing to adequately control erosion at the Greenwood II development site in Holden, Mass. EPA says that the company had also paid an $8,400 penalty to the agency in 2019 for erosion control failures at the same site.
  • U-Haul Co. of Western Massachusetts, has agreed to pay an $18,000 penalty for allegedly failing to obtain permit coverage at a construction site in Lancaster, Mass. Due to a lack of erosion controls at the site, EPA says that sediment runoff from this site impacted nearby wetlands.

All construction sites one acre or larger, with the potential to discharge stormwater to surface waters, are required to obtain coverage under EPA's General Permit for Discharges from Construction Activities, comply with the terms of the permit, and thereby minimize sediment discharges.

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