EPA fines home builders for storm water violations

In a major crackdown against violations at construction sites, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Justice Department have announced agreements with four major home builders. Centex of Dallas; KB Home of Los Angeles; Pulte Homes of Bloomfield Hills, Mich.; and M.D.C. Holdings of Denver agreed to pay a total of $4.3 million in fines and penalties. Combined, the four builders accounted for more than 124,000 home closings in 2006.

The companies named in the settlements allegedly failed to obtain permits before clearing land for subdivisions and to prevent dirt, silt and other runoff materials from leaving 2,202 construction sites in 34 states from 2001 to 2005.

Along with the federal government, seven states will share in the settlements based on the number of sites within each state. Those states include Colorado, Maryland, Virginia, Missouri, Nevada, Tennessee and Utah.

The settlements are the latest in a series of enforcement actions to address storm water violations from construction sites around the country. A similar consent decree, reached in February with Home Depot, required the company to pay a fine of $1.3 million and establish a comprehensive storm water compliance plan to prevent future violations.

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