Thursday, September 19, 2019

EPA complaint leads to better runoff protection for Ipswich River

Gilbane Building Co. agreed last week to implement stricter measures to prevent harmful runoff after an EPA complaint about one of the construction company's Massachusetts worksites.

Gilbane, based in Providence, Rhode Island, is the general contractor for the renovation of North Reading Middle and High School, which includes demolition and reconstruction of several buildings and the addition of parking lots, athletic fields and a water treatment facility.

While the company did secure a General Construction Permit, the EPA alleged that it was not sufficiently employing stormwater pollution control methods, allowing potentially dangerous chemicals to run into the Ipswich River. These stormwater runoffs are monitored by the EPA due to their potential to harm water quality and fish habitats, contribute to toxic algal blooms, and close swimming beaches, among other harmful effects.

Gilbane cooperated with the EPA. Although the company did not agree with the EPA’s findings, it has agreed to pay a fine of $12,000.

To simplify compliance for contractors, the EPA has created several sources of information on compliance with stormwater laws, including written materials, websites and workshops.

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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