Water authority reaches settlement over stormwater violations

June 4, 2015

SAN DIEGO — Construction permits require management to avoid the discharges that occurred during the project.

SAN DIEGO — After stormwater requirement violations led to sediment pollution in Rossini Creek, the San Diego Regional Water Quality Board approved a settlement agreement of $430,851 with the city of Encinitas, according to a press release.

Rossini Creek is a tributary of the San Elijo Lagoon, noted the release. The State Park and Recreation Commission designates the lagoon as a natural preserve, and the federal government lists it as an “impaired water body for damage to the salt marshes caused by excess sedimentation and silt.”

Encinitas and its contractor, USS Cal Builders Inc., failed to put in place adequate management practices during construction to prevent pollutants from entering stormwater runoff, stated the release. The events occurred in December 2012 and March 2013. 

Permits require management to avoid the discharges that occurred during the project, reported the release. Failure to comply can cost violators $2.7 million.

The city can use up to $206,393 of the settlement amount to support habitat restoration in San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve, shared the release. The San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy will conduct the effort. The rest of the liability will go toward the remediation of state water pollution.

“The mismanagement at this construction site was really unexpected given the level of experience of both the contractor and the city of Encinitas,” said Chiara Clemente, the Water Board’s enforcement coordinator, in the release. “The wetland restoration project, however, reflects the keen interest in the health of San Elijo Lagoon and coastal waters of the community.”

Click here to read the entire release.

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