Stormwater violations result in fine for Idaho dairy operator

Aug. 3, 2010
SEATTLE, WA, Aug. 3, 2010 -- Happy Valley Dairy of Nampa, Idaho, reached a settlement with the U.S. EPA for alleged Clean Water Act violations related to a construction project at the dairy...

SEATTLE, WA, Aug. 3, 2010 -- Happy Valley Dairy of Nampa, Idaho, reached a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for alleged Clean Water Act violations related to a construction project at the dairy. The violations were found in April 2010 during a joint EPA and Corps of Engineers inspection which resulted from a citizen's complaint. The company has agreed to come into compliance and pay a penalty of $14,750 for the stormwater violations. An investigation into alleged wetlands violations at the site continues.

Under the Clean Water Act, owners and general contractors at construction sites larger than one acre must apply for coverage under a Construction General Permit (CGP), which limits stormwater runoff. The dairy was found to be exposing soils to erosion in an approximately 10-acre area and they were also removing vegetation from the banks of Indian Creek. The CGP's central requirement is that each operator must design, install and maintain stormwater controls to prevent construction area runoff from polluting nearby streams and lakes. Without these controls, pollutants typically associated with construction sites, such as sediment, oil and grease, and concrete washout can enter nearby waterways.

EPA observed the following violations:

• Failure to obtain coverage under the CGP
• Failure to plan and describe stormwater activities in a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan
• Failure to conduct and document results of regular stormwater self inspections
• Failure to install and maintain the required erosion and sediment controls

"If a facility is doing construction work like this on an area that is more than an acre, they will need coverage under this permit," said Kim Ogle, manager of EPA's Compliance Unit in Seattle. "Developers that fail to obtain or follow these permit conditions will face fines."

Many of Idaho's lakes, rivers, and streams are listed as impaired or not meeting water quality standards due to sediment pollution. Construction site discharges constitute a major source of sediment, and the Construction General Permit is an important tool for protecting water quality in Idaho's waterways.

For more about EPA's stormwater Construction General permit, visit: http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/home.cfm?program_id=6

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