EPA Settlement with Rochester Area Home Builder Protects Area Waterways; Developer Agrees to Construct Project to Reduce Polluted Stormwater Discharges
New York, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached an agreement with the Atlantic Funding and Real Estate home building company and its owner, Alfred Spaziano, to address violations of federal rules that reduce pollution from contaminated stormwater runoff at its Gateway Landing construction site in Green and Gates, New York. Under the agreement, Atlantic Funding is required to comply with all stormwater control requirements and will pay a $50,000 penalty. The company will also invest nearly $70,000 to construct a bioswale – an area of vegetation or mulch that filters silt and pollution – to reduce pollution from contaminated stormwater discharges into the Erie Canal. The 20,204 square foot bioswale at Gateway Landing will contain a 7,800 square foot rain garden. Rain gardens are shallow, vegetated basins that collect and absorb runoff from rooftops, sidewalks, and streets. The bioswale is a project that benefits the environment and the community that would otherwise not have been required to bring the company into compliance. The EPA estimates that this project will reduce stormwater runoff into the Erie Canal by as much as 144,821 gallons a year.
“The EPA is working hard to ensure clean water in communities. It is crucial that we reduce pollution reaching our lakes, rivers and streams to protect people’s health and the environment,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “Soil and pollutants carried by uncontrolled stormwater runoff can seriously damage our waterways. The legal settlement with Atlantic Funding will reduce stormwater runoff, protecting water quality in the Erie Canal.”
Under the federal Clean Water Act, developers of sites one acre or larger are required to implement stormwater pollution prevention plans to keep soil and contaminants from running off into nearby waterways. The rate at which water carries soil and contaminants off of construction sites is typically 10 to 20 times greater than that from agricultural lands and 1,000 to 2,000 times greater than those of forested lands.
The EPA inspected Atlantic Funding’s Gateway Landing construction site in the towns of Greece and Gates, New York in September 2012 and February 2013. Those inspections, along with information provided by Atlantic Funding, revealed that the company was not properly following key parts of its stormwater pollution prevention plan. Violations found at the Gateway Landing site included failure to install a designated concrete washout area at the construction site and a perimeter silt fence prior to start of work and failure to construct sediment basins at the site and permanently stabilize drainage ditches with vegetation prior to road and building construction. In addition, Atlantic Funding violated provisions of its stormwater discharge permit, including the requirement to conduct site inspections according to the specified schedule and the requirement to properly amend its stormwater pollution prevention plan to minimize discharges of pollutants from the site.
For more information about requirements of the Clean Water Act and how EPA protects the nation’s water, visit http://water.epa.gov/.