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MA and NH Developers Agree to Pay Penalties for Storm Water Violations; Cases are Part of EPA Push to Improve Storm Water Compliance by Builders

Release Date: 09/20/04
Contact Information:

Contact: Peyton Fleming, EPA Press Office (617-918-1008)

For Immediate Release: September 20, 2004; Release # 04-09-07

BOSTON – Three New England companies have agreed to pay more than $15,000 in penalties for storm water-related violations that took place at construction projects this year in Middleton, MA, Leominster, MA and Salem, NH. The settlements were negotiated under the agency’s new Expedited Settlement Offer (ESO) program for storm water violations at New England construction sites.

The settlements stem from construction projects that occurred without having the necessary permits and pollution controls in place for curbing storm water runoff from construction sites. The violations were discovered during EPA inspections at the sites this past April and May.

“Controlling storm water runoff from construction sites is necessary to protect wetlands and other waters of the United States” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator for EPA's New England Office. “Everyone involved in construction sites needs to make sure that controls are in place to prevent environmental damage.”

EPA regulations require a permit for construction sites that disturb more than one acre of land. The storm water permit seeks to protect waters from harmful pollutants that typically run off such sites and discharge into nearby waters. The permit has requirements that operators of a construction site develop a detailed management plan for mitigating the effects of storm water runoff.
Contractors, developers and others who are responsible for day-to-day operations at a construction site are required to certify that they will properly implement these plans, called storm water pollution prevention plans. The permit also requires personnel who are on the sites to perform regular inspections of storm water controls and to employ management techniques that will minimize the impact of their activities on nearby waters.

The three cases announced today are as follows:
* East Street Realty LLC of North Reading, MA agreed to pay a $6,175 penalty after being cited for discharging storm water from the Pond View Estates Development, a residential construction project on 16 acres in Middleton, without having the necessary stormwater permit. The company also was cited for not undertaking and documenting erosion and sedimentation control inspections, for failing to install a sedimentation basin and for not stabilizing exposed soils. Storm water runoff from the site discharged turbid waters into Webber’s Pond. The site was inspected in May of this year.

* JW Darrah LLC of Bow, NH agreed to pay a $6,200 penalty after being cited for discharging storm water from the Spicket Heights Development, a residential housing project on 10 acres in Salem, NH, without having the necessary storm water permit. J.W. Darrah also was cited for not undertaking and documenting erosion and sedimentation control inspections. The site was inspected in April of this year.

* Orchard Hill Park LLC of Leominster, MA and Borggaard Construction of North Grafton, MA agreed to pay a $3,200 penalty after being cited for discharging storm water from the Orchard Hill Park development in Leominster without having all necessary storm water permits. The companies were also cited for having deficiencies in their storm water pollution prevention plan and for failing to properly complete self-inspections of storm water controls. Storm water drains from the site to a wetland that drains to Easter Brook. EPA inspected the 40-acre site in May.

In May of this year, EPA’s New England Office began implementing an Expedited Settlement Offer program for storm water associated with construction activities. The program is designed to supplement traditional administrative and judicial enforcement options. This program provides EPA with the authority to assess expedited penalties to developers in the field for violating federal regulations for storm water discharges from their construction sites.

Rainwater running off construction sites can carry nutrients, sediments, oils and various other pollutants into nearby streams, ponds and rivers. If not properly managed, erosion from a one-acre construction site could discharge as much as 20 to 150 tons of sediment in one year. 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.

EPA has developed written materials, web sites, workshops and other products to help those involved in construction projects understand how to comply with storm water laws. For more information on how to comply with those rules, visit the agency’s web site at

Developers seeking further assistance can contact Abby Swaine at 617-918-1841 or

Related Information:
Storm Water Topics
Non-Point Source
Combined Sewer Overflows