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EPA Region 8 collects $426,256 from 12 companies for violating storm water regulations at 7 Colorado sites

Release Date: 12/17/2004
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      DENVER – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Denver office collected penalties totaling $426,256 by settling cases against 12 companies that violated federal storm water regulations under the Clean Water Act while performing seven major construction projects in the greater Denver Metro area. Seven of the 12 violators are Colorado companies; however, all of the companies are doing business in Colorado.

The storm water regulations protect waterways from becoming polluted with runoff, such as sediment and debris, from construction sites. Storm water runoff from construction activities is a major contributor to water quality impairment. Storm water runoff can carry high levels of pollutants such as sediment, oil and grease, suspended solids, nutrients and heavy metals. Urban storm water runoff was found to be a source of pollution in 13 percent of impaired rivers and streams and 21 percent of impaired lakes, according to EPA’s 1998 Report to Congress. Sediment is the largest cause of water quality impairment in rivers and can have a negative effect on aquatic life.

The enforcement actions were taken in July 2003 for failure to obtain a storm water permit, failure to develop or implement a storm water management plan, failure to implement or maintain appropriate best management practices to minimize runoff, and failure to conduct site inspections. Not complying with these requirements may result in runoff from the construction site adversely impacting water bodies.

“Storm water requirements have been in place for over 10 years. Developers, builders, and construction contractors must share responsibility to ensure compliance with the storm water regulations,” said Carol Rushin, Assistant Regional Administrator for EPA Region 8 Office of Enforcement, Compliance, and Environmental Justice. “Compliance with these regulations is important to protect our scarce water resources.”

The companies EPA levied penalties against are:

• Westwoods Development Co., LLC of Colorado, Saunders Construction, Inc. of Colorado, Dillon Companies, Inc. of Kansas doing business as King Soopers, Inc., and Harris Construction Management, LLC of Colorado concerning construction of Westwoods Center at 64th and McIntyre in Arvada;
• Miller-Weingarten Realty, LLC of Colorado doing business as Weingarten/Miller/Aurora Joint Venture and Adolfson and Peterson Construction of Minnesota, concerning construction of the Aurora Town Center, Aurora;
• Saddle Rock Marketplace, LLC of Colorado, concerning construction of a shopping center at 2311 E. Smokey Hill Road in Aurora;
• Village Homes of Colorado, Inc., concerning residential construction of the Fieldstone Subdivision at 64th and Easley Road in Arvada;
• JDN Intermountain Development Pioneer Hills, LLC, of Georgia, concerning construction of the Pioneer Hills shopping center at Parker and Chambers Road in Aurora;
• Midcities Enterprises, LLC of Colorado, and Coalton Acres, LLC of Delaware, concerning construction of Midcities Development - Flatirons shopping center at 96th and Coalton Road in Broomfield; and
• The Mills Corp. of Delaware, concerning construction of the Colorado Mills shopping center at 14500 W. Colfax Ave. in Lakewood.

While the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is authorized to implement storm water regulations in Colorado, EPA partnered with the state to help with its substantial storm water inspection and enforcement workload.

Federal storm water regulations are designed, in part, to reduce the amount of sediment entering rivers from construction activity. To comply with the storm water regulations, owners and operators of a construction site are required to submit a Notice of Intent to the Colorado Department of Public Health & the Environment at least 10 days before beginning the work. Prior to submitting the notice of intent, the operator should have developed a storm water management plan for the project. The plan identifies what best management practices will be used on the site to reduce the amount of pollutants, including sediment, which leave the construction site in the event of a storm.