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EPA Orders Housing Developer to Stop Raw Sewage Discharges in Peñuelas, Puerto Rico

May 24, 2022

SAN JUAN - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued an enforcement order under the Clean Water Act to ALV Development LLC to address untreated sewage discharges coming from a residential development in Peñuelas, Puerto Rico, that are flowing into Los Cedros Creek.

“This enforcement action will address and eliminate a public health hazard for a number of communities in the Municipality of Peñuelas while reducing pollution and protecting clean water,” said EPA Regional Administrator Lisa F. García. “Wastewater poses numerous threats to public health and the environment, so it’s imperative that regulated entities comply with the Clean Water Act to control pollution discharges.”

On April 5, 2022, EPA inspected the Parque Miramonte residential development’s pump station after the agency received a series of complaints alleging that sewage overflows were reaching a nearby creek and impacting water quality and ecosystems. EPA determined that ALV Development LLC violated the Clean Water Act for its discharges of untreated sewage from the development’s pump station without a National Pollutant Elimination Discharge System permit. Discharges of untreated sewage through a pump station without the appropriate permit are a violation of the Clean Water Act.

The order requires ALV Development LLC to cease to discharge any pollutant, including untreated sewage, into waters of the United States, except with authorization under a permit. ALV Development LLC must also develop and submit for EPA’s review a compliance plan to repair the development’s pump station and related infrastructure to prevent sanitary sewer overflows from occurring. The plan must be completed within 45 days of the company’s receipt of the order.

The EPA order also requires ALV Development LLC to develop a preventive maintenance program for the development’s pump station and its sanitary sewer collection system and to submit monthly status reports documenting actions taken pursuant to the order.

The Parque de Miramonte Development’s pump station and its sanitary sewer collection system were constructed to transport the sanitary wastewaters of the Parque Miramonte Residential Development into the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority’s (PRASA) Peñuelas Wastewater Treatment Plant.

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