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National Developer Cited for Clean Water Act Violations at Raymore, Missouri Site

Release Date: 02/23/2006
Contact Information: Martin Kessler, (913) 551-7236,

Environmental News


EPA Region 7 has cited Cooper Land Development for numerous violations of federal storm-water regulations at its 1,200-acre housing development in Raymore, Mo., known as the Creekmoor Subdivision. Creekmoor is the largest site that EPA Region 7 has ever named in a storm-water enforcement action.

EPA has ordered Cooper Land Development (Cooper) to take immediate actions to minimize sediment-laden runoff from the site. The purpose of this immediate order is to quickly stop the ongoing environmental harm caused by Cooper’s Clean Water Act violations. These violations also could subject Cooper to penalties, which would be sought by EPA in a later enforcement action.

EPA inspected the construction site in early February and found that vast areas of land had been stripped of vegetation with virtually none of the erosion controls required by federal law. EPA also found that Cooper failed to: follow practices that minimize runoff; abide by their storm-water pollution prevention plan; and conduct site inspections.

“This action sends an important message to the construction industry that they must properly control erosion, so they do not damage our nation’s waters,” said Jim Gulliford, EPA regional administrator.

This current action to bring the Creekmoor site into compliance will prevent massive amounts of sediment from washing into nearby streams, rivers and lakes. Storm-water runoff from the Creekmoor site discharges into Lumpkins Fork, then into the Little Blue River.

Creekmoor is planned to include more than 1,500 homes, a 116-acre lake, and an 18-hole golf course. Cooper is a national developer of large golf-course communities of up to 36,000 acres in several states, including Missouri and Arkansas.

Regulations that require construction sites to prevent water pollution have existed for more than 15 years. However, compliance within the construction industry remains poor.

This current enforcement action is part of a national effort by EPA to reduce the damage to water bodies caused by erosion at large construction sites.

Urban storm-water runoff from construction sites is a significant environmental concern, and siltation is one of the worst pollution problems in our nation’s water bodies. Construction activity greatly increases erosion and runoff, which can choke our streams and lakes with sediment.

Sediment-laden runoff destroys spawning beds, suffocates fish eggs and bottom-dwelling organisms, decreases oxygen levels in streams, and blocks sunlight that is essential for the growth of beneficial water grasses.

In addition to sediment, storm-water runoff can carry high levels of pollutants such as oil and grease, suspended solids, nutrients, and heavy metals. Polluted storm-water runoff is a leading cause of impairment to the nearly 40 percent of surveyed U.S. water bodies that do not meet water quality standards.

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