The prime contractor for an Oregon Department of Transportation project on U.S. Highway 20 has agreed to pay a $735,000 penalty to resolve allegations that it illegally discharged stormwater from the construction project. United States v. Granite Constr. Co., No. 3:13-cv-00012-ST (D. Or. 1/3/13). 78 Fed. Reg. 4,168 (1/18/13). Public comment on the proposed consent decree is requested by February 19, 2013.
According to the government, the defendant did not have a permit to discharge stormwater into unnamed tributaries of Cougar Creek and Eddy Creek, which occurred when heavy rain caused a series of slope failures. Those heavy discharges allegedly continued for several days. The government also alleged that the construction activities resulted in regular discharges of stormwater in connection with those activities. The discharges allegedly violated state water quality standards and therefore were not authorized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2008 construction general permit. In addition to paying the penalty, the contractor agreed to implement a training program to prevent future breaches of stormwater discharge requirements.