EPA Settles with Alaska Utilities for CWA Violations

City Electric, Inc. and Municipal Light & Power, of Anchorage, Alaska, have agreed to pay a $42,300 penalty to settle alleged Clean Water Act (CWA) violations. According to EPA, the violations occurred at the Eklutna Transmission Line Project construction site, located just north of Anchorage, near Eklutna, Alaska.

The alleged violations were discovered during an EPA site inspection in May 2006. The alleged violations against City Electric include:

• failure to properly select and maintain best management practices to prevent discharge of sediment from the construction site into local water bodies; and
• failure to prepare and implement an adequate Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan.

In addition, EPA found that Municipal Light & Power had failed to obtain coverage under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Construction Storm Water General Permit between March 2006 and July 2006. The receiving waters for the storm water discharges from the Site are Peters Creek, Parks Creek, Mink Creek, Fire Creek, Eklutna River, and Eagle River.

According to Marcia Combes, Alaska Operations Office Director for EPA, conducting storm water inspections is a very effective way to protect Alaska’s waters.

“Improper management of storm water run-off can have a significant impact on water quality," said Combes. "Developers and construction companies need to comply with EPA's regulations or they may face an enforcement action."

The storm water permitting program is a “key tool” to preventing water pollution and an important way that Alaska’s lakes, rivers and streams are protected against polluted runoff from construction sites.

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