DENVER, CO, Feb. 10, 2011 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Holcim (US) Inc. have entered into a consent agreement in which Holcim will pay a $50,000 penalty for unpermitted discharges to the Weber River at the Devil's Slide Quarry in Morgan, Utah.
"Stormwater permits are designed to prevent contaminated runoff from damaging rivers and streams," said Mike Gaydosh, EPA's enforcement director in Denver. "EPA notes that Holcim has developed a plan and secured a permit for its Devil's Slide Quarry that will minimize the future release of pollutants to the Weber River."
The agreement resolves an EPA complaint alleging that runoff from the quarry entered the river without a required Clean Water Act permit from the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (UDEQ). The complaint was a follow-up to an earlier order issued by EPA.
In May 2008, EPA inspected Devil's Slide Quarry and found evidence of a discharge to the Weber River from an impoundment built to store storm water and/or process water runoff from rain or snowmelt. At the time of the inspection, Holcim had not sought or obtained a permit from UDEQ to discharge storm water from the facility. EPA has authorized UDEQ to implement the storm water permitting program under the Clean Water Act.
In June 2009, a follow-up inspection by UDEQ found that the facility was discharging stormwater and/or process water from the impoundment to the Weber River. Pollutants entering the river would have been minimized or prevented if the quarry had implemented adequate control measures as required by a permit.
In August, 2009, EPA issued an order which required Holcim to develop a plan to prevent and report any storm water discharges to the Weber River, and to apply for a UDEQ stormwater permit covering discharges from the facility. UDEQ issued the facility an individual permit for their operations last week.
Stormwater runoff is generated when precipitation from rain and snowmelt events flows over land or impervious surfaces. This runoff accumulates debris, chemicals, sediment or other pollutants that could adversely affect water quality if unchecked and untreated. The primary method to control stormwater discharges is the use of best management practices that prevent and hold runoff. Most stormwater discharges require coverage under a Clean Water Act permit.
For more information on EPA's storm water permitting program: http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/home.cfm?program_id=6
Help EPA protect our nation's land, air and water by reporting violations: http://www.epa.gov/tips/