Oct 12, 2020

California Park Subcontractors Fined for Storm Water Violations

A California park has accumulated six repeated violations of best management practices.

storm water

A Sunnyvale, California park had six repeated violations of best management practices.

According to Resident News, Ortega Park’s violations would prevent sediment from flowing into the Ortega River. Two subcontractors for Dewberry Group, the owner and developer of Ortega Park Mall on Roosevelt Boulevard, entered into a “Consent Order” with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Aug. 3.

Marietta Sand Corporation and RLH Construction LLC, the subcontractors installing new infrastructure, were fined $26,500 and have signed an agreement to take corrective and preventative measures. The aim is for these measures to prevent turbid storm water on the construction site from traveling into the Ortega River, according to Florida State Senator Wyman Duggan, reported Resident News.

The fine includes $26,000 for civil penalties and $500 for costs and expenses incurred by the DEP during the investigation. The civil penalty includes six violations that warranted a penalty of $2,000 or more, and also included a penalty of $5,000 each for two documented water quality violations, according to the Consent Order.

Over a period of six months, between January and July, visibility of a muddy plume of turbid water gradually spreading into the waters of the Ortega River. If this trend continues, it would raise the water level, kill nearby trees and wildlife, and cause flooding. 

Since a meeting in early August addressing the plume,  another plume occurred, reported Resident News. 

In a meeting with the residents who first addressed the plume, Dawn Motes, president of Marietta Sand, outlined several struggles her company has had in dealing with Dewberry Group, the property owner. 

“She said there are many instances where some conflict would arise as it relates to the plans, and she has to stop work and seek guidance from the owner and cannot get them to respond,” Duggan said. “For example, she said there was an easement for the benefit of AT&T underground in the parking lot and her company pulled the asphalt up before learning about the easement, which they didn’t know about. The engineers who designed the project didn’t know the lines were in place, so the work had to stop while AT&T and Comcast were contacted to give a temporary construction easement to do the work. The result was everything coming to a standstill causing lime rock and dirt to be exposed when it rained."

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