Under an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) to resolve 209 alleged stormwater-related violations, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (“PennDOT”) will fund a $750,000 stream restoration project in Manchester Township, York County. It is anticipated that the project will reduce 180,503 pounds of sediment annually that otherwise would be discharged to an unnamed tributary of the Codorus Creek, thereby contributing to efforts to improve local water quality and meet Chesapeake Bay-related requirements.
The PennDOT alleged violations that were resolved involved work at PennDOT-owned construction sites where PennDOT’s construction contractors failed to fully implement best management practices (“BMPs”), as required by the Clean Water Act and Pennsylvania’s Clean Streams Law. Under the settlement, PennDOT also agreed to implement a comprehensive compliance management program and to complete multi-million dollar environmentally beneficial projects in several Pennsylvania watersheds, including the York County project. PennDOT also will pay a $100,000 civil penalty.
Uncontrolled storm water runoff from highway construction sites often contains sediment and other pollutants. The Clean Water Act requires owners of certain industrial and construction operations to obtain a permit before discharging storm water runoff into waterways. These permits include pollution-reducing BMPs such as spill prevention safeguards, runoff reduction measures, and employee training. Like PennDOT, local government and businesses must also comply with expanding regulatory requirements to reduce stormwater run-off and to protect local water quality.