Toll Brothers Inc., a major U.S. home builder, will pay a $741,000 civil penalty and set up a stormwater-control program under an agreement with federal agencies to settle scores of alleged violations of the Clean Water Act.
The proposed settlement, which the U.S. Dept. of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency announced on June 20, covers 370 sites in 23 states, including 40 sites in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The federal complaint, filed with a consent decree in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on June 20, alleges that Toll Brothers had more than 600 stormwater violations, according to EPA.
DOJ says that most of the incidents deal with the company’s “repeated failures to comply with permit requirements at its construction sites.”
Horsham, Pa.-based Toll Brothers had no comment on the proposed settlement.
EPA estimates that the proposed settlement will reduce sediment in stormwater runoff from Toll Brothers sites by 217 million lbs per year, including about 21 million lbs. annually in the Chesapeake watershed.
The consent decree spells out detailed requirements of the stormwater-control program that the company is to implement. It includes site-specific stormwater plans, inspections, training of employees and designated company stormwater compliance representatives, both nationally and for each site.
Of the total civil penalty, the U.S. will receive about $702,000, Maryland will get $22,000 and Virginia $17,000.
The consent decree is subject to the court’s approval.