Ivory Homes Agrees to Resolve Stormwater Violations Related to Residential Construction Sites
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that Ivory Homes, Ltd. has agreed to resolve alleged Clean Water Act violations at several locations in Utah and will invest in a company-wide compliance program to improve employee training and stormwater management at all current and future residential construction sites. Ivory Homes will also pay a Clean Water Act penalty of $250,000. The settlement will help prevent hundreds of thousands of pounds of sediment from entering Utah’s waterways as a result of construction activities.
“Keeping contaminated stormwater runoff out of the nation’s waterways is an EPA priority,” said Shaun McGrath, EPA’s regional administrator in Denver. “Today’s settlement requires Ivory Homes to implement comprehensive controls and training that will prevent runoff from contaminating Utah’s rivers, lakes and sources of drinking water.”
The agreement resolves alleged stormwater permit violations discovered through inspections of Ivory Homes’ construction sites in Utah. The majority of these alleged violations involved the company’s repeated failure to comply with permit requirements to install and maintain adequate stormwater pollution controls, conduct required inspections, and prevent the discharge of construction materials to nearby surface waters.
Stormwater runoff from construction activities can have a significant impact on water quality, affecting drinking water, reducing usability, and damaging valuable aquatic habitats. As stormwater flows over a construction site, it can pick up pollutants like sediment, debris, and chemicals and transport these to a nearby storm sewer system or directly to a river, lake, or coastal water. Polluted stormwater runoff can harm or kill fish and other wildlife. Sedimentation can destroy aquatic habitat, and high volumes of runoff can cause stream bank erosion.
The Clean Water Act requires permits for the discharge of stormwater runoff, which require that construction sites have controls in place to prevent impacts to nearby waterways. These include common-sense safeguards such as silt fences, phased site-grading, and sediment basins and training subcontractors to implement practices that prevent the discharge of pollutants.
The settlement requires Ivory Homes to obtain all required permits, develop site-specific pollution prevention plans for each construction site, conduct additional site inspections beyond those required by stormwater regulations, and document and promptly correct any problems. The company must properly train construction managers and contractors on stormwater requirements and designate trained staff for each site.
The agreement with Ivory Homes is the latest in a series of EPA enforcement actions to address stormwater violations from residential construction sites around the country. Ivory Homes, based in Salt Lake City, is one of the nation’s 50 largest homebuilders and the largest in Utah.
The consent decree, lodged in the U.S. District Court of Utah, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and approval by the federal court and is available at: http://www.justice.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html.
More information about construction stormwater: http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater/const.cfm