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U.S. EPA seeking $76,800 penalty from Minden, Nev. developer

Release Date: 3/9/2005
Contact Information: Laura Gentile, 415/947-4227 (, cell 415/760-9161

Developer violated federal environmental regulations during construction

SAN FRANCISCO - Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed that a Minden, Nev. developer pay $76,800 to resolve violations of the federal Clean Water Act observed during construction of a 63-acre housing development on tribal lands in Douglas County.

In December 2003, the EPA ordered PTP, Inc. to correct violations of federal stormwater requirements discovered during an inspection of the Pine View Estates, a 240 single-family home subdivision located approximately seven miles southeast of Gardnerville. The EPA discovered that PTP had been discharging polluted stormwater into the nearby East Fork Carson River without a permit since 1999.

In addition to the penalty, the EPA ordered PTP to correct the violations, submit a revised pollution prevention plan, and provide documentation indicating that the violations had been corrected. PTP has complied with the EPA?s order.

During a November 2003 inspection, the EPA discovered that PTP had not installed any required control measures to stop pollutants from flowing into the river during construction. The river is located approximately three miles from the site. The EPA also noted that the facility had not stabilized several acres of soil, which is required to prevent erosion and is particularly critical during the rainy season.

"Runoff from construction projects can pose a serious threat to water quality," said Alexis Strauss, the director of the EPA's water division for the Pacific Southwest region. "The Clean Water Act requires developers to comply with permit requirements and take simple, basic steps to prevent pollutants from contaminating stormwater."

When it rains, the water that flows through streets, lawns and parks -- stormwater -- runs untreated directly into the nearest lake or river. At construction sites, stormwater can pick up pollutants such as sediment and debris and carry these pollutants directly into the nearest body of water. Large amounts of sediment flowing into waterways can destroy aquatic habitats, and high volumes of stormwater can erode stream banks.

The public can review and comment on the EPA's proposed settlement for the next 30 days. The proposal is available on EPA's website at

On Nevada tribal lands, the EPA is responsible for administering the stormwater program. On non-tribal lands, the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection administers the program. Both agencies require that all construction projects larger than one acre obtain a discharge permit by applying for coverage under the general construction permit.