In May, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assessed fines against two developers and issued orders to a horse racetrack regarding violations of the Clean Water Act. Fines totaled more than $185,000.
The EPA reached a settlement with Paul Sayer for alleged violations at Sayer’s 5.5-acre construction site in Anchor Point, Alaska, on the Kenai Peninsula. Sayer agreed to pay $27,600. EPA alleges that Sayer violated the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) by not obtaining a Storm Water Construction General Permit (CGP), which is required for discharges of stormwater from any construction site with at least 1 acre of disturbed land. Violations included numerous Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) violations and failure to obtain the necessary NPDES CGP permits.
A residential developer and a construction company in Hanson, Mass., faces a penalty of as much as $157,500 for alleged stormwater discharges from a construction site. Dunham Farm Condominium is an 11-acre residential development owned by Dunham Farm, LLC and run by contractor Callahan, Inc. On March 27, 2007, an EPA inspector discovered that these parties violated the NPDES General Permit for Storm Water Discharges from Construction Activities, issued to the companies under the Clean Water Act.
Specifically, Dunham Farm, LLC and Callahan, Inc., failed to document routine facility inspections at the development site and failed to implement and maintain BMPs properly, which include erosion and sediment controls, such as drainage basins, silt barriers, and berms, at the site. Consequently, during storm events that occurred in the summer of 2006, stormwater laden with sediment flowed from the development site into a bordering vegetated wetland. A stream forms in this wetland that ultimately reaches the Taunton River and flows into the Atlantic Ocean.
Additionally, EPA ordered the Suffolk Downs horse racing track in East Boston, Mass., to take immediate action to reduce pollutants being discharged to Sales Creek, a tributary to Boston Harbor. According to EPA, Suffolk Downs is violating the federal Clean Water Act because of horse manure, urine, bedding material, and stable wash water that are entering the waterways through stormwater runoff.
The action requires Sterling Suffolk Racecourse, LLC immediately to make all practicable efforts to cease discharging pollutants to its storm drain system and Sales Creek. The EPA order requires Suffolk to inspect its facility routinely for discharges to Sales Creek and the adjacent wetland and to collect a limited number of dry- and wet-weather samples from its outfalls.
The EPA order also requires Suffolk to submit an application for the appropriate discharge permit from EPA. Suffolk is required to develop and submit a plan for interim measures to eliminate or reduce to the maximum extent possible the discharge of pollutants until an NPDES permit for a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation is issued to the facility.
EPA inspections have revealed that horse and stable wash water have been discharged repeatedly to the facility’s storm drain system during dry-weather. EPA inspectors observed stormwater contaminated with manure wastes and highly turbid, brown runoff being discharged from the facility to Sales Creek. Sampling conducted at various outfalls discharging from Suffolk Downs indicates elevated ammonia, surfactant, suspended solids, biological oxygen demand, and bacterial concentrations being discharged to Sales Creek in both dry- and wet-weather.