Boston, Mass. -- EPA and Albee Realty Trust have resolved a penalty action for discharges of silt-laden storm water associated with development of a seven lot residential subdivision in Uxbridge, Mass., in violation of the federal Clean Water Act.
Albee discharged stormwater from the construction site without a permit for several years. Albee also failed to install and maintain controls sufficient to minimize discharge of pollutants to the stream. On June 12, 2012, EPA issued a complaint against the Albee Realty Trust and its trustees seeking penalties as a result of these violations.
Because they are operators of a site disturbing more than one acre, Albee was required to apply for either an individual permit or coverage under a General Permit for “Storm Water Discharges from Construction Activities.” The permit requires the use of “best management practices” to prevent erosion and sedimentation of waterways that can result from construction activities. Under the agreement, Albee will pay a penalty of $24,000.
Rainwater running off construction sites can carry sediments, oil and other pollutants which contaminate nearby streams, ponds and rivers. Erosion from a one-acre construction site could discharge as much as 20 to 150 tons of sediment in one year if not properly managed. Sediments reduce the storage capacity of drains and waterways, causing flooding and adversely affecting water quality and fish habitat. Sediments and chemicals can also contribute to fish die-offs, toxic algae blooms, contaminated shellfish beds and closed swimming beaches.
To assist developers and builders into coming into compliance, EPA has developed written materials, web sites, workshops, and other products to help those involved in construction projects understand how to comply with storm water laws.
EPA Storm Water Permit Program in New England (www.epa.gov/region1/npdes/stormwater)
Enforcing Clean Water requirements in New England (www.epa.gov/region1/enforcement/water)