BOSTON – Both parties involved in a road and bridge construction project in Deerfield, Mass. have agreed to pay a total penalty of $21,600 to resolve claims by EPA that they violated their construction permit, which is designed to minimize the impacts of stormwater discharges from a site that can harm surrounding waterways.
J.F. White Contracting Co. and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation operated the project, which involved replacing two pairs of bridges and relocating a section of the northbound lanes of I-91, disturbing about 32 acres. Stormwater from the site discharges into the Deerfield River and then into the Connecticut River.
The Clean Water Act requires a permit to discharge stormwater from construction sites disturbing an acre or more. Clean Water Act permits help protect the environment from the effects of construction projects, including rivers and streams being clogged with sediment and other pollutants. EPA’s oversight helps ensure that companies working on roads, bridges or other construction projects take the necessary steps to limit stormwater pollution from affecting lakes, rivers and other water bodies.
The case stemmed from a citizen complaint which led to an inspection. Based on the inspection and follow-up information, EPA alleged that the DOT and JF White had failed to stabilize disturbed portions of the median and shoulder of the roads south of the Deerfield River from January through March 2016. In addition, EPA alleged that they had failed to ensure that all storm drain inlets were properly protected. According to EPA’s complaint, these alleged violations would lead to an increase in the amount of sediment that would be washed out of storm drains into the Deerfield River during the winter months.