Four National Homebuilders Settle Storm Water Violations

June 12, 2008
by JONATHAN RINDE
MGKF Special Alert

Yesterday, the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice announced the execution of consent decrees with four large national homebuilders. The consent decrees alleged storm water violations at the homebuilders' construction sites in thirty-four states and the District of Columbia between 2001 and 2004. The four homebuilders agreed to pay civil penalties ranging from $795,000 to $1,485,000 and agreed to implement new measures designed to both reduce the amount of sediments leaving their construction sites and ensure compliance with the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System ("NPDES") permitting program pursuant to the Clean Water Act.

As many builders know, counties, states and the federal government have identified violations of storm water NPDES permits at construction sites as an enforcement priority. At the federal level, civil penalties for storm water violations in excess of $1 million are no longer uncommon. State and local governments are conducting significantly more compliance inspections and increasing their penalty demands when they find violations.

Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox LLP is reviewing the recently announced consent decrees in part to determine if there are measures identified therein that could be used by other builders to ensure compliance with the NPDES storm water permitting program. We are also handling various and significant storm water permitting, compliance and enforcement matters for national, regional and local builders, many times working directly with their project managers and site engineers to develop permitting, compliance and defense strategies.

If you want more information regarding the recently announced consent decrees or have questions regarding storm water permitting, compliance and enforcement, please feel free to contact Jonathan E. Rinde at (484) 430-2325, jrinde@mgkflaw.com, or any other attorney at Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox LLP.