Solar company settles stormwater violations with EPA

Nov. 12, 2015

The business was ordered to remove sediments and restore the affected wetlands in January 2014.

BOSTON — Nov. 10, 2015 — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) agreed to a settlement with Borrego Solar Systems Inc. to resolve illegal stormwater discharges, according to a press release.

Borrego, which builds solar power facilities in Massachusetts, will pay a $90,000 penalty, noted the release. The EPA claims the company failed to follow requirements to control stormwater discharges when it constructed three solar power array facilities in Warren.

The filed complaint states Borrego disturbed more than an acre of land when it did not comply with its construction permit for the projects in 2013 and 2014, shared the release. EPA estimates claim that between November 2014 and January 2014, approximately 10 to 25 cubic yards of sediment was discharged into wetlands because of inadequate erosion controls. Taylor Brooks and Tufts Brooks were also affected.

The EPA alleged that Borrego failed to install and maintain erosion controls or carry out practices to control the stormwater, stated the release.

The requirements of a construction permit are meant to minimize the amount of damage caused to the environment by stormwater discharges," said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office, in the release.

According to the release, specific claims the EPA made were that the company failed to:

  • Construct adequate stormwater detention basins before construction
  • Construct stormwater detention basins in accordance with good engineering practices
  • Install and maintain silt fencing and other perimeter controls
  • Ensure that discharges to surface waters were treated by an area of undisturbed natural buffer or additional erosion and sediment controls equivalent to a 50-foot natural buffer

In January 2014, the Warren Conservation Commission ordered the company to remove sediments and restore the wetlands, noted the release.

You can find the entire release here.

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