Home Depot Stores in Alaska and Oregon included in $1.3 million settlement for storm water violations
Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a $1.3 million settlement with Home Depot, Inc. to resolve construction storm water violations that were discovered at more than 30 construction sites in 28 states where new Home Depot stores were being built.
EPA conducted inspections and gathered information between 2002 and 2003 on the 30 sites. Here in the Pacific Northwest, Home Depot construction violations were found in Beaverton, Oregon and Juneau, Alaska. Violations at each site varied in severity, but generally included:
* Discharge of polluted storm water runoff to storm sewers or waterways without obtaining a permit;
* Failure to develop an adequate Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) for minimizing the amount of sediment and other pollutants in storm water runoff from the site;
* Failure to install or implement storm water controls or Best Management Practices (BMPs) required by the SWPPP (for example silt fences were not installed, storm drain inlets were not covered or protected, etc); and
* Failure to adequately or routinely inspect BMPs to ensure proper maintenance.
Home Depot has agreed to a settlement with the United States to resolve these violations.
Improving compliance at construction sites is one of EPA’s national enforcement priorities. Construction projects have a high potential for environmental harm because they cover large areas of land and have had a history of noncompliance with environmental regulations. Without onsite controls, runoff from construction sites can flow directly to the nearest waterway and can cause beach closings, swimming and fishing restrictions, and habitat degradation.
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