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Developer Faces $500k Runoff Tab

Monday, June 1, 2015

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SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO—A San Juan developer has agreed to pay $500,000 to settle federal claims that it improperly discharged stormwater into a Puerto Rico stream and violated other permit requirements under the Clean Water Act. 
 
F&R Contractors Corp. and F&R Contractors LLC must also hire a stormwater management compliance officer and begin a site inspection program under its proposed consent decree with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  
 
F&R Construction Group

The Estancias del Bosque residential development in Puerto Rico is one of three construction sites at which F&R Contractors reportedly failed to comply with federal stormwater management rules.

 
The violations, which reportedly occurred between January 2004 and January 2008, relate to three residential construction sites, according to the EPA. The EPA said that at one site F&R discharged stormwater into a stream without a permit. The stream ultimately feeds into the Atlantic Ocean.
 
At the other two sites, the company violated stormwater discharge permit and failed to create or revise stormwater pollution prevention plans, according to the EPA.
 
Stormwater runoff is a major source of waterway pollution, according to the EPA. As the runoff flows over the land, paved surfaces and rooftops, it carries debris, chemicals, sediment or other pollutants that could affect water quality if the runoff is untreated.
 
Most stormwater discharges are considered point sources and require coverage under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program
 
7 Sites Affected
 
In all, F&R operates seven construction sites throughout Puerto Rico. Under the settlement, the company must retain a Company Stormwater Compliance Manager to oversee compliance at all present and future sites.
Stormwater
EPA

As stormwater runoff flows over the land, paved surfaces and rooftops, it carries debris, chemicals, sediment or other pollutants that could affect water quality if the runoff is untreated.

The manager is tasked with a variety of training, reporting and managment duties detailed in the consent decree, which was filed Wednesday (May 27) along with the EPA complaint in U.S. District Court in Puerto Rico.
 
The agreement also requires F&R to staff a Site Stormwater Compliance Manager at each construction site. That manager will have the authority to stop or order work to maintain compliance.
 
“Stormwater often carries pollution and sediment into local waterways that can damage water quality,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck in a statement. “Large quantities of stormwater can run off of construction sites and it is important that stormwater be controlled.”
 
The proposed consent decree is pending court approval.  
 

   

Tagged categories: Clean Water Act; Developers; Enforcement; Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); Residential Construction

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