Lafarge North America, Inc., a supplier of construction materials in the United States and Canada, has agreed to resolve alleged Clean Water Act Violations to the tune of a $740,000 penalty. Alleged violations include unpermitted discharge of stormwater at 21 stone, gravel, sand, asphalt and ready-mix concrete facilities in Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, and New York.
As many facility managers and building owners know, stormwater flowing over concrete manufacturing facilities can carry significant problems such as pesticides, sediment, pollutants, debris, chemicals, solvents, and many other hazards that can have a serious impact on water quality.
“EPA is committed to protecting America’s waters from polluted stormwater runoff,” says Cynthia Giles, EPA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Today’s settlement will improve stormwater management at facilities across the nation, preventing harmful pollutants from being swept into local waterways.”
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 implement one state environmentally beneficial project valued at $10,000 to support environmental training for state inspectors.
Lafarge will undergo a comprehensive evaluation that will include a review of all facility permits, inventory of all discharges to U.S. waters, and identification of all best management practices.
Lafarge must identify an environmental vice president, responsible for coordinating oversight of compliance with stormwater requirements, at least two environmental directors, to oversee stormwater compliance at each operation, and an onsite operations manager at each facility. The U.S. estimates that Lafarge will spend approximately $8 million over five years to develop and maintain this compliance program.
The settlement is the latest in a series of federal enforcement actions to address stormwater violations from industrial facilities and construction sites around the country.