Colorado Business To Pay $160,000 For Illegal Discharges Into River

EPA Region 8 announced on June 22 it reached an agreement with Gosney & Sons Inc. of Bayfield, Colo., requiring Gosney to pay $160,000 in penalties for violating the Clean Water Act and EPA's stormwater regulations.

EPA inspectors found the Gosney business discharging pollutants into the Los Pinos River without the required National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit at its Bayfield Pit facility. Moreover, Gosney's operation disposed of other wastes into an on-site pond. The Gosney business also did not have an adequate Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) plan to control the petroleum products and waste.

Gosney's & Sons Inc. also operated a second sand and gravel operation, Grove Pit (in Bayfield) without an NPDES permit and did not have a stormwater pollution prevention plan.

Sand and gravel mining operations are required to have a stormwater pollution prevention plan stating best management practices to minimize the discharge of sediment and other pollutants into storm water. During their inspections, EPA representatives also observed no or inadequate best management practices to control sediment and other pollutants generated by Gosney's industrial operations. Sediment is the second leading cause of water quality impairment in the United States. High levels of sediment can impact aquatic life and drinking water supplies.

EPA Region 8 Assistant Administrator Carol Rushin said, "We hope this settlement sends a message that compliance with federal environmental laws is not only important to protect our environment, but necessary as well."

The settlement is comprised of three penalties: $115,000 for Clean Water Act and stormwater violations at the Bayfield pit, $38,000 for Clean Water Act and stormwater violations at the Grove Pit, and $7,000 for SPCC violations at the Bayfield Pit.

Gosney & Sons Inc. ceased operations at its Grove Pit site in February. Gosney is now in compliance with SPCC at the Bayfield site.

For more information, contact EPA Region 8 at http://www.epa.gov/region8.

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