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Idaho Transportation Department to pay $325,000 in additional penalties for federal storm water violations

Release Date: 07/08/2008
Contact Information: Kristine Karlson, EPA, (206) 553-0290, Mark MacIntyre, EPA Public Affairs, (206) 553-7302,

(Seattle, Wash. – July 5, 2008) The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) has agreed to pay $325,000 in stipulated penalties for numerous violations of a Clean Water Act (CWA) Consent Decree, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today.

The 2006 Consent Decree was the result of CWA violations by ITD and its contractor from 2001 to 2003, committed during the "Mica to Bellgrove" Highway 95 realignment project in northern Idaho. In that case, EPA fined ITD and its contractor a total of $895,000 for numerous storm water management problems and resulting discharges that harmed the Mica Creek watershed and violated the terms of EPA's national Construction General Permit.

“The provisions spelled-out in the Consent Decree were meant to correct the fundamental, systemic problems that led to our initial case,” said Elin Miller, EPA’s Regional Administrator in Seattle. "The Construction General Permit for storm water is a key tool to preventing water pollution and protecting Idaho’s lakes, rivers and streams from polluted construction site runoff."

Under the existing Consent Decree, ITD is required to provide storm water training to its personnel, implement new self-inspection protocols, improve communication with its contractors and submit an annual report to EPA detailing its compliance. In its first annual report submitted in 2007, ITD disclosed a large number of violations from 2006.

The additional penalties are largely related to failure by ITD and its contractors to train environmental personnel in a timely way, failure to conduct self-inspections as required, and failure to document compliance with storm water requirements.

ITD claims it has recently taken corrective actions to try to prevent a repeat of the violations.

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