ATLANTA, GA, June 17, 2010 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently settled with Pontotoc Union Lee Alliance (PULA) for stormwater-related violations of the Clean Water Act at two of its construction sites in Blue Springs, Miss. Under the terms of two separate Consent Agreements and Final Orders, PULA has agreed to come into compliance and paid penalties totaling $70,000.
Polluted stormwater runoff is a leading cause of impairment to the nearly 40 percent of surveyed U.S. water bodies which do not meet water quality standards. Over land or via storm sewer systems, polluted runoff is discharged, often untreated, directly into local water bodies.
"National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits protect our rivers and lakes from stormwater pollution," said Stan Meiburg, EPA Region 4 Acting Regional Administrator. "Companies must comply with the conditions of their discharge permits."
PULA, along with Eutaw Construction Company Inc., entered a $40,000 settlement with EPA for stormwater violations at its construction site known as Blue Springs Rail Spur. And PULA, along with L&T Construction Inc., entered a separate $30,000 settlement with EPA for stormwater violations at its construction site known as Blue Springs North Loop Interchange.
Both settlements stem from violations that were observed by representatives from EPA and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality during May 2009 inspections of the construction sites. EPA issued Administrative Orders in October 2009 requiring the violators to revise their Notices of Intent for Permit coverage, modify their Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans, institute inspection programs, and address areas of potential discharges. The companies have complied with EPA's enforcement order
Congress enacted the CWA in 1972 to protect the nation's rivers, lakes and stream, as well as some of the more fragile and vital wetland habitats. The entities cited violated the CWA by either failing to meet the requirements of their NPDES permits, and subsequently causing point source discharges; failing to comply with biosolids requirements; or by filling or dredging wetlands. Pollutants of concern include nutrients, sediment, oil and grease, chemicals and metals. When left uncontrolled, water pollution can deplete needed oxygen and/or otherwise result in the destruction of aquatic habitats, as well as the fish and wildlife that depend on them. Water pollution can also contaminate food, drinking water supplies and recreational waterways, and thereby pose a threat to public health.
For more information on the NPDES program in the Southeast, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/region4/water/permits/stormwater.html