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Runoff Case to Cost USAF Builder

Friday, August 15, 2014

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One of the nation’s largest private builders of military housing will pay $310,000 to resolve allegations of federal Clean Water Act violations at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado.

Hunt Building, based in El Paso, TX, will pay the civil penalty to settle long-running allegations of stormwater permit violations discovered by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency inspectors at the academy campus in Colorado Springs, CO, the EPA announced Aug. 8.

Hunt Military Community
Hunt Military Communities

Eagle Heights at Dover is one of the Hunt Military Communities. Texas-based Hunt Building is one of the nation's largest private builders of military housing.

The settlement agreement, lodged in the U.S. District Court of Colorado, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and approval by the federal court.

Most of the allegations involve failure to comply with EPA permit requirements.

Stormwater Priority

Hunt Building is one of the nation’s leading companies engaged in building, renovating, and demolishing privatized housing at military bases.

“Keeping contaminated stormwater runoff out of the nation’s waterways is an EPA priority,” Shaun McGrath, EPA’s regional administrator in Denver, said in a statement.

Construction stormwater
EPA

Keeping contaminated stormwater runoff out of  waterways is an EPA priority.

“EPA and our partners encourage builders to use the tools and resources available to help them to comply with these regulations.”

The company did not admit to any violations, according to court documents.

Permit Requirements

Clean Water Act permits require builders to install safeguards to prevent pollutant runoff to nearby waterways, the EPA notes. These safeguards can include silt fences, phased site-grading and sediment basins.

Builders must also train their subcontractors and employees about pollution control.

Stormwater runoff from construction activities can have a significant impact on water quality, affecting drinking water, reducing usability, and damaging valuable aquatic habitats, according to the EPA.

USAF Academy housing
usairforceacademyhousing.com

The allegations involved stormwater from housing at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Stormwater on construction sites can pick up sediment, debris, chemicals and other pollutants and carry them to nearby storm sewers, rivers, lakes or coastal water.

Sedimentation can destroy aquatic habitat, and high volumes of runoff can cause stream bank erosion.

More information about construction stormwater is available here.

   

Tagged categories: Clean Water Act; Commercial Construction; Enforcement; Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); Good Technical Practice; Government contracts; Military; Residential Construction

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