Stormwater Violations Costly for Massachusetts Developer

BOSTON, Massachusetts, December 11, 2008 (ENS) - A Massachusetts construction company building a public high school on 35 acres next to the Aberjona River will pay a $135,000 penalty for discharging polluted stormwater from its Reading, Massachusetts construction site and four other sites in Massachusetts.

The federal agency could have penalized the developer up to $157,000 for the violations.

The Aberjona is a six mile long river that arises in Reading, flows south through flows through the northwestern suburbs of Boston and empties into the Mystic Lakes. At one time, the Aberjona River ran clear and was full of fish but has since been degraded by effluent from factories and development.

EPA inspectors determined that TLT Construction Corporation of Wakefield discharged stormwater containing pollutants from the Reading Memorial High School construction site since construction began in May 2004 through February 2005, without proper authorization.

The EPA alleges that the company did not apply for coverage under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Construction Activities, as required by the federal Clean Water Act.

TLT also failed to amend its stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan when it was shown to be ineffective in eliminating pollutants in stormwater discharges from the site in April 2005, April, May and June 2007, and February 2008.

From March 2005 through January 2007, TLT also failed to complete inspection reports and maintain records of stormwater erosion and sedimentation control inspections.

In addition, EPA learned that TLT had failed to file for coverage under the General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Construction Activities and had discharged stormwater containing pollutants at four additional Massachusetts sites - Pembroke High School in Pembroke, Needham High School in Needham, Jacobs Elementary School in Hull, and North Shore Bank, in Peabody.

The company obtained coverage under the Construction General Permit and amended its Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan, which describes the best management practices that the company will undertake in order minimize erosion and sediment runoff from the site.

Construction of the high school in Reading was completed in August 2008. Construction at the additional four sites also has been completed.

Stormwater running off the site contains sand, dirt, sediment, suspended solids and residues of construction material. Silt and sediment in the stormwaters ran off the site into the Aberjona River, negatively affecting the river's water quality.

Construction activities that disturb one acre or more are regulated under the NPDES stormwater program. In Massachusetts, operators of regulated construction sites are required to develop and implement SWPPPs and to obtain permit coverage from EPA before construction begins.

In 2005, the "Boston Business Journal" named TLT one of the state's largest and fastest growing companies, with a 52.3 percent gain over 2004. The company was ranked ninth largest in the state with $198 million in project volume.

TLT was founded in 1976, and currently employs 120 construction management, field personnel and administrative professionals with operations throughout New England and the Mid Atlantic states.

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