Company Agrees to Pay Penalty to Resolve Clean Water Act Violations in Five States
Ready-mix concrete producer agrees to improve environmental compliance in U.S. facilities
Construction material supplier Lafarge North America Inc. and four of its U.S. subsidiaries agreed to resolve alleged Clean Water Act violations, announced the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The violations include unpermitted discharges of storm water at 21 stone, gravel, sand, asphalt and ready-mix concrete facilities in Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, and New York.
“EPA is committed to protecting America’s waters from polluted storm water runoff,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “[This] settlement will improve storm water management at facilities across the nation, preventing harmful pollutants from being swept into local waterways.”
“Owners and operators of industrial facilities must take the necessary measures to comply with storm water regulations under the Clean Water Act, which protects America’s rivers, lakes, and sources of drinking water from harmful contamination,” added Ignacia S. Moreno, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “The system-wide management controls and training that this settlement requires from Lafarge and its subsidiaries will result in better management practices and a robust compliance program at hundreds of facilities throughout the nation that will prevent harmful storm water runoff.”
Lafarge will implement a nationwide evaluation and compliance program at 189 of its similar facilities in the United States to ensure they meet Clean Water Act requirements. Lafarge will also pay a penalty of $740,000 and implement two supplemental environmental projects in which the company will complete conservation easements to protect approximately 166 acres in Maryland and Colorado.
The comprehensive evaluation will include a compliance review of each facility’s permit, an inventory of all discharges to U.S. waters and identification of all best management practices in place. EPA estimates that Lafarge will spend approximately $8 million over five years to develop and maintain this compliance program. Since being notified of the violations by EPA, the company has made significant improvements to its storm water management systems.
The settlement is the latest in a series of federal enforcement actions to address storm water violations from industrial facilities and construction sites around the country.
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