Boston, Mass. -- A developer and a construction company building townhouses in Worcester was ordered by EPA to take steps to stop discharging silt-laden stormwater into nearby waters.
According to an order issued in September by EPA’s New England office, Bailin & Associates Inc. of Worcester and its general contractor, Rotti Construction Inc.of West Boylston,violated requirements of the Clean Water Act for stormwater discharges, which resulted in silt traveling from the construction site into a wetland, a stream, and nearby ponds.
Bailin and Rotti, which have been constructing the 79-acre residential subdivision since 2003, were required to apply for a permit to discharge stormwater under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program. The permit is required by operators of a construction site if more than one acre of land is disturbed.
Bailin received a NPDES permit in 2008, but failed to properly install and maintain the site. Specifically, Bailin allowed silt-laden stormwater to seep into nearby waters. Further, Bailin failed to maintain silt fences at the discharge point. Bailin did not have its stormwater pollution prevention plan at the site or readily accessible as required by the permit.
According to EPA’s order, Rotti violated the federal Clean Water Act by discharging stormwater from the construction site without a permit and failing to apply for authorization to discharge stormwater under the permit.
This is the second time EPA has taken an enforcement action against Bailin. EPA sued Bailin in 2008 for discharging without a permit and then failing to comply with the permit, once it obtained coverage. Bailin paid a penalty to resolve the case in March of 2009, but has continued to violate the permit by periodically allowing silt-laden stormwater to escape from the site.
According to EPA’s order, Bailin must fully comply with the permit. The order also requires Rotti Construction to get a permit and to comply with the permit once it is obtained.
Stormwater runoff from construction activities can significantly reduce the water quality of receiving waters. As stormwaters flow over a construction site, they can pick up and transport pollutants, such as silt, oil and grease from petroleum products, metals from paints and sealants, sand and aggregate from unstable material stockpiles, and solvents and construction debris. Contaminated stormwater runoff can harm or kill fish and or other aquatic wildlife. Uncontrolled stormwater runoff from a construction site can affect an aquatic habitat and cause stream bank erosion and flooding.
EPA Clean Water Enforcement in New England (epa.gov/region1/enforcement/water)
EPA storm water issues in New England (epa.gov/region1/topics/water/stormwater)