Four New England site operators have agreed to pay fines for violations of federal regulations designed to prevent pollution from storm water runoff at construction and industrial sites. In separate actions, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) alleged the operators in Goshen, Hudson and Swansea, Mass.; and Dover, N.H.; failed to properly control erosion at construction sites and a sand and gravel pit, resulting in sediment and other pollutants entering waterways.
Accufab Ironworks has agreed to a $3,000 fine for failing to have a discharge permit and failing to effectively control sediments washing off of the construction site at their facility in Goshen, Mass.
Chestnut Farms Development Corp., of Marlborough, Mass., agreed to a $3,350 penalty for inadequate erosion control at the Lauren Heights Development in Hudson, Mass.
Frank Donaldson agreed to a $6,050 penalty for failure to properly implement and maintain erosion controls at a residential construction site in Swansea, Mass.
Severino Trucking Co., Inc. and the City of Dover, N.H., have both agreed to share responsibility and a fine of $8,100 for creating a berm that resulted in the discharge of storm water from Dover's sand and gravel operation into the Bellamy River without obtaining the proper permit.
Rainwater running off construction sites and sand and gravel operations can carry sediments, oil and various other pollutants into 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 affect 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. Construction sites disturbing one acre of soil or more and sand and gravel operations that may discharge to a water body are required to obtain permit coverage; in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, the permit is administered by the EPA.
EPA is working to bring developers and builders into compliance with storm water regulations. The effort includes enforcement actions and has also included development of written materials, websites, workshops and other products to help those involved in construction projects understand how to comply with storm water laws.