It turns out Adrian Peterson's Twitter account isn't the only thing associated with the Vikings responsible for pollutant discharges. A New Jersey company owned by Minnesota's football billionaire Zygi Wilf has apparently been fumbling its stormwater runoff.
As Tom Brady might say, it's not cheating unless you get caught, but Wilf families' Garden Homes development company was totally busted by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice.
On Friday the EPA announced it had reached a settlement with Garden Homes, which hits the company with a $225,000 penalty and forces it to implement a plan to improve it's stormwater practices, according to an EPA announcement. Garden Homes will also provide 108 acres of land for preservation within New Jersey's Highlands Preservation Area.
"Today's settlement will help protect New Jersey waterways from the harmful pollutants contained in stormwater runoff from Garden Homes' construction sites, and also preserve valuable wetlands and wildlife habitat," says John C. Cruden, assistant attorney general, in a press release.
Garden Homes' failure to control stormwater discharge potentially polluted six New Jersey watersheds.
Ten of the company's job sites allegedly violated a host of stormwater requirements, including failure to conduct weekly inspections, install perimeter silt fencing and allowing fuel to spill near an unprotected catch basin. According to the announcement, the violations persisted after two administrative slaps on the wrist from the EPA.
The federal Clean Water Act requires developers and contractors to implement stormwater pollution prevention plans and keeping soil and contaminants from running into waterways.
Besides the fine, Garden Homes has to jump through a few more hoops that will add to the tab. The company must evaluate its stormwater practices and develop a corporate-wide stormwater management program. In addition, it will designate stormwater managers for each job site and assign someone to oversee compliance training and conduct surprise inspections. The EPA pegs these costs at $539,000 in year one and $380,000 annually in following years.
"Stormwater often carries pollution and sediment into local waterways that can damage water quality," says EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck, in the release. "Large quantities of stormwater can run off of construction sites and it is critically important that stormwater be controlled."
On the bright side, one negligent company's pain is a bog turtle's gain. The land donated at gunpoint will help the recovery of threatened and endangered species, namely the bog turtle and Indiana Bat, which reside in the Highlands Preservation Area.
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