Company to Pay N.Y. for Stormwater Issues

Widewaters Greenport Co. LLC has agreed to pay a $100,000 settlement to resolve numerous stormwater violations at its Greenport Commons retail project in Greenport (Columbia County), New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis and Region 4 Director Gene Kelly announced recently.

The violations occurred because the company commenced work without putting in place proper erosion-control and sediment-control measures, as per the company's stormwater pollution prevention plan. Also, the company had not secured written permission to disturb more than 5 acres -- when, in fact, almost 40 acres of soil had been disturbed and were left exposed and vulnerable to erosion from a rain event.

"Widewaters exhibited a blatant disregard for the stormwater regulations of the state and created the potential for a significant water-quality violation," Kelly said. "Luckily, we had a long stretch of dry weather which averted any significant turbid discharges to the nearby Claverack Creek. The magnitude of this penalty, which is the largest stormwater penalty in the state's history, reflects the seriousness with which DEC views violations of this sort."

As part of the settlement, Widewaters must hire an independent inspector, in addition to the required existing daily inspector, to monitor the construction site at least twice every seven days to ensure compliance with their stormwater pollution prevention plan. The inspector must compile and submit to the state agency a weekly report detailing compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

Widewaters is headquartered in Syracuse. Its Greenport Commons project is a 500,000-square-foot retail center that is expected to be anchored by Lowe's and a Wal-Mart super center.

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