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EPA Fines Swain Construction Inc. in Omaha $150K for Alleged Clean Water Act Violations

Apr 12, 2021

(Lenexa, Kan., March 18, 2021) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached a settlement with Swain Construction Inc. in Omaha, Nebraska, for alleged violations of the federal Clean Water Act.

According to EPA, the concrete recycling and sales company discharged pollutants into protected waters adjacent to its facility without obtaining required permits. As part of the settlement, the company will restore the damaged streams and pay a $150,000 civil penalty.

“Enforcing environmental regulations protects the environment and ensures that companies following the rules aren’t at a disadvantage to those who violate the law,” said David Cozad, director of EPA Region 7’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division. “The Agency is committed to keeping pollutants out of America’s waters and holding polluters responsible.”

In the settlement documents, EPA alleges that Swain Construction used mechanized equipment to move concrete rubble, construction debris, and other pollutants into Thomas Creek and Little Papillon Creek, impacting approximately 1,300 feet of stream channel. Two EPA inspections at the company’s facility in 2019 confirmed these unauthorized activities, as well as a lack of pollution controls that resulted in unauthorized stormwater discharges and wastewater runoff into Thomas Creek from the company’s dust-suppression efforts. Both streams are designated as “impaired” by the state of Nebraska. Waters are assessed as impaired when an applicable water quality standard is not being attained.

In addition to paying the penalty, the company also agreed to restore the impacted stream stretches and install facility controls to minimize or eliminate further discharges.

Under the Clean Water Act, parties are prohibited from discharging pollutants into water bodies unless they first obtain a permit. Failure to obtain a permit or follow the requirements of a permit may violate federal law.

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