Enforcement

The Links at Columbia, LP and Lindsey Construction Company, Inc. Settlement

(Kansas City, Kan., Aug. 31, 2011) Lindsey Construction Company, Inc., of Fayetteville, Ark., and one of its associated limited partnerships have agreed to pay a $430,000 civil penalty to the United States to settle a series of construction stormwater violations that occurred during development of The Links of Columbia, a nine-hole golf course and 64-building apartment project in Columbia, Mo.

Through a stipulation of settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice and EPA Region 7, filed today in U.S. District Court in Jefferson City, Mo., Lindsey Construction and The Links at Columbia, LP, agree to pay the civil penalty for violations of the federal Clean Water Act and terms of a construction stormwater permit issued by the State of Missouri.

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Overview of Company and Location and Site

The Links at Columbia, a limited partnership, was the developer for the Links of Columbia, a residential apartment complex in Columbia, Mo. Lindsey Construction Company, Inc. was the general contractor during construction of this development.

The Links of Columbia is a 118-acre development consisting of 64 apartment buildings, a 9-hole golf course and other amenities. Approximately 88 of the 118 acres were disturbed during construction.

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Violations

Violations included the failure to comply with the conditions of permits issued pursuant to Section 402 of the Clean Water Act (CWA), U.S.C. § 1342. The companies' actions resulted in the discharge of pollutants in stormwater from this construction site, which is a violation of CWA Section 301. Permit violations include:

  • Failure to select and install stormwater controls that were appropriate for conditions at the site
  • Failure to properly install and maintain existing stormwater controls
  • Failure to revise the Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) despite deficient stormwater controls
  • Failure to conduct or document inspections

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Stipulation of Settlement and Judgment

The Stipulation of Settlement and Judgment requires The Links at Columbia, LP and Lindsey Construction Company, Inc. to pay a total civil penalty of $430,000. Construction is complete at this development and therefore the settlement does not include injunctive relief.

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Health and Environmental Effects

Discharges of stormwater runoff, including runoff from construction sites, can have a significant impact on water quality. Construction activities alter natural landscapes. During construction, earth is compacted, excavated and displaced, and vegetation is removed. These activities increase runoff and erosion, thus increasing sediment transported to receiving waters. In addition to sediment, as stormwater flows over a construction site, it can pick up other pollutants such as trash, petroleum products, chemicals, solvents, asphalts and acids that may also contribute to water quality problems.

Sediment-laden runoff can result in increased turbidity and decreased oxygen in receiving waters, which in turn results in loss of in-stream habitat for fish and other aquatic species.
Sediment can kill fish directly, destroy spawning beds, suffocate fish eggs and bottom dwelling organisms, and block sunlight resulting in reduced growth of beneficial aquatic grasses.

In addition, sediment can impact the treatment of drinking water resulting in higher treatment costs, and can result in the loss of drinking water reservoir storage capacity and decrease the navigational capacity of waterways.

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Comment Period

The proposed settlement, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, is subject to a 30-day comment period and final court approval. Information on submitting comments is available at the U.S. DOJ website.

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For more information, contact:

Susan D. Bruce
Water Enforcement Division
Office of Civil Enforcement, US EPA
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460
202-564-8329
Susan Bruce (bruce.susan@epa.gov)

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