On August 18, 2009, the USDOJ announced that Cooper Land Development, Inc., a luxury home development company, headquartered in Rogers, Ark., had agreed to settle allegations that Cooper had violated the Clean Water Act. According to the Consent Decree, Cooper had failed to properly manage construction site storm water runoff and implement erosion control at five of its housing developments located in Missouri, West Virginia and Arkansas.
Cooper agreed to pay a $513,740.00 civil penalty and implement a storm water compliance program at its construction sites. The government will allow the penalty to be paid in four annual installments with interest.
According to the press release, improving compliance at construction sites is one of the USEPA’s national enforcement priorities. Construction projects can cause a significant increase of the potential for erosion. Onsite pollution controls prevent sediment-laden runoff from entering waterways and degrading water quality by washing other pollutants, including concrete washout, paint, used oil, pesticides, solvents and debris into the waterway.
The consent decree was lodged in the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri. It is subject to a thirty (30) day public comment period after which it is subject to approval by the federal court. A copy of the consent decree is available on the Justice Department Web site at http://www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html.
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