KB Home to Pay Fine in EPA Probe of Alleged Water Run Off Violations

Posted on Jun 13, 2008
Four major home builders, including Los Angeles-based KB Home, have agreed to pay $4.3 million in fines to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Water Act involving hundreds of construction sites nationwide, the U.S. Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday.

The four separate settlements are the result of a federal investigation into storm-water management and compliance efforts between 2001 and 2004, according to the companies named in the complaints.

The greatest number of alleged violations occurred in California. Complaints also were filed this week against Pulte Homes of Bloomfield, Mich.; Centex Homes, based in Dallas; and Richmond American Homes, based in Denver.

The complaints allege that the companies violated storm-water runoff regulations at construction sites in 34 states and the District of Columbia. Alleged violations include failure to obtain a permit before construction and failure to prevent or minimize discharge of pollutants, such as silt and debris, in storm-water runoff.

The Clean Water Act requires construction sites to have controls, such as silt fences and sediment basins, to prevent contaminants from flowing into waterways.

Pollutants from concrete, lubricants, paint, pesticides and other debris can mix with storm water, and the runoff can harm or kill fish and wildlife as well as affect drinking water quality.

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