Penn. DEP fines violator of Clean Streams law

The Department of Environmental Protection has fined DeCesare Corp., based in Murrysville, Westmoreland County, $25,000 after it was found to have done work at a development site that polluted Steels Run -- a violation of its NPDES permit. Beginning in 2004, the company began earth disturbance activities at its San Ria Court development on Weistertown Road in Murrysville, leading to stormwater runoff entering Steels Run, a high quality stream and cold water fishery...

PITTSBURGH, PA, March 25, 2008 -- The Department of Environmental Protection has fined DeCesare Corp., based in Murrysville, Westmoreland County, $25,000 after it was found to have done work at a development site that polluted Steels Run -- a violation of its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, or NPDES, permit.

Beginning in 2004, the company began earth disturbance activities at its San Ria Court development on Weistertown Road in Murrysville. That activity led to stormwater runoff entering Steels Run, which is designated as a high quality stream and cold water fishery.

The NPDES permit prescribes erosion and sedimentation controls to prevent such runoff.

"Development cannot come at the expense of Pennsylvania's water resources," said Kenneth Bowman, DEP's southwest regional director. "Working with our partners in the county conservation districts, DEP is committed to enforcing the regulations and laws that protect the commonwealth's streams and rivers."

Inspections by the Westmoreland Conservation District in 2004, 2006 and 2007 show that DeCesare failed to implement the erosion and sediment controls required to prevent stormwater runoff from carrying sediment from the site into Steels Run.

DEP works in partnership with county conservation districts to regulate erosion and sedimentation controls at construction sites. Trained staff from district offices review erosion and sediment control plans and perform site inspections.

The department administers and enforces the Chapter 102 erosion and sediment control regulations and the Clean Streams Law in many counties, including Westmoreland.

Stormwater runoff from sites where the surface soils are bare often accelerates erosion and carries sediment and debris into the commonwealth's waterways where it can threaten aquatic life. Sediment covers fish eggs and gravel nests, destroys the food supply, and clouds the water, which deprives plants of the light needed for photosynthesis and, in turn, impairs the ability of fish to extract oxygen from the water.

###

More in Environmental