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EPA Cites Toll Brothers for Polluting NJ’s Waters

Date : Wed, 27 Jun 2012 12:09:13 -0400

For Immediate Release
June 20, 2012 Contact Jeff Tittel, 609-558-9100

EPA Cites Toll Brothers for Polluting NJ’s Waters

Today the EPA announced that Toll Brothers was cited for numerous violations of the Clean Water Act on its construction sites.43 sites in New Jersey violated federal law, the second highest number of sites of the 23 states involved.Violations were across the state from Sussex down to Ocean, from Hudson to Warren, even Burlington and Morris.In addition to fines, Toll Brothers will have to remediate the sites and reduce the sediment entering stormwater runoff.Again the federal EPA had to step in and enforce important environmental standards in New Jersey.These sites did not receive violation notices from DEP even though our stormwater management regulations are stricter than the federal rules.Runoff on construction sites is full of sediment and can become polluted with dangerous toxins, which then enter our waterways posing a risk to public health.These violations lead to more pollution and pathogens in our streams and reservoirs and causes more pollution.The failure to properly manage stormwater also increases flooding.

"We are glad EPA has stepped in and gone after these Clean Water Act violations.However New Jersey DEP not only did not catch these violations and the pollution from them, but has missed out on receiving federal funding because we were not part of the federal action.DEP would rather take the side of polluters and violators of environmental laws over protecting the waterways for the people of New Jersey," *said Jeff Tittel, Director, NJ Sierra Club*. Toll Brothers will pay $741,000 in fines for the violations on their construction sites.New Jersey was not part of the lawsuit and settlement, costing our state civil penalties.Maryland will receive $22,000 and Virginia will receive $17,000 while the rest will go to the federal government.

"What happened at these sites can lead to more pollution and more flooding, impacting the health and environment of the people of New Jersey.We are glad we still have an EPA to step up and do what New Jersey should have done," said Jeff. Instead of enforcing violations the DEP is rewriting the Stormwater Management regulations at stakeholder meetings with developers and polluters.New Jersey has one of the most protective standards in the country with the 2004 rules and the Christie administration is weakening protections for headwaters, 300 foot buffers and recharge areas. They are trying to get rid of non-structural methods to clean up stormwater.Instead they want to go back to the days of detention basins and large pipes, which do nothing for water quality.They are selling out our waterways to developers. This incident raises several important questions about how well the DEP is looking out for our environment.Why were this sites allowed to pollute our waterways for so long and why did EPA come step in?Where was DEP enforcement on this issue?This is what happens when DEP enforcement drops.The DEP is cutting back on the fines imposed on polluters and cutting DEP enforcement staff.Violation notices across all DEP programs are down to 5500 last year versus 6900 in 2008.On top of that the amount of fines that are collected are down and the amount is often reduced from what was initially proposed by the DEP. DEP Compliance and Enforcement program are seeing significant staffing cuts, impacting their ability to investigate and monitor violations.Since 2005 the number of inspectors has dropped by one-fifth from 209 to 166.Enforcement will be changed in the land use program creating an open season on streams, wetlands and other environmentally sensitive features.

"Without enforcement, a law is just a suggestion and more people will violate laws if they don’t think they will get caught, or if they are caught they don’t get a penalty, which is happening in New Jersey," said Tittel."New Jersey has enough water pollution, we do not need developers violating the laws and giving us more." This is part of the Christie administration rolling back 40 years of environmental protections.Polluters are being treated like customers and environmental protections are being gutted in the name of red tape.As inspections and violations are down, the DEP is rewriting key regulations to weaken protections.In August the Waiver Rule will go into effect allowing the DEP Commissioner to let polluters off the hook with waivers. The EPA has to step in because once again the Christie administration would rather take the side of polluters and violators over the public health and safety of the people of New Jersey.In DEP violators are called customers and they are rolling back programs to protect the public while cutting staff and inspections.How many other sites are like this in New Jersey with the DEP looking the other way?" asked Jeff Tittel. Information on the settlement can be found here: http:www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/cases/civil/cwa/tollbrothers.html<a> Sites in Violation: Woodcliffe Lake Estates 15 Taft Court Woodcliffe Lake Bergen NJ Inactive Chesterfield Greene 4 Chilton Drive Chesterfield Burlington NJ Inactive Chestnut Greene 1 Thorn Lane Chesterfield Burlington NJ Inactive

700 Grove 700 Grove Street Jersey City Hudson NJ Inactive Harborside Lofts 1500 Garden StreetHoboken Hudson NJ Inactive Maxwell House 1025 Maxwell LaneHoboken Hudson NJ Active Alexandria Estates 3 Balmoral Drive Pittstown Hunterdon NJ Inactive Lookout Pointe 52 Albert Road Clinton Hunterdon NJ Inactive Princeton Junction 51 Tree Swallow Drive Princeton Mercer NJ Inactive Riviera at Windsor 160 Aristotle Way Cranbury Mercer NJ Inactive Cranbury Brook 100 Middlesex BlvdPlainsboro Middlesex NJ Inactive Regency at Monroe 51 Country Club Drive Monroe Township Middlesex NJ Active Windhaven 2 Trotter Court Monroe Middlesex NJ Inactive Castle Pointe at Marlboro 1 Witherspoon Way Marlboro Monmouth NJ Inactive Crossroads at Freehold 75 Tricentennial Drive Freehold Monmouth NJ Inactive Dancer Farm 16 Dancer Lane Manalapan Monmouth NJ Inactive Eagles Pointe 601 Buhler Court Pine Beach Monmouth NJ Inactive Golf Edge Estates 3 Grant Drive Cream Ridge Monmouth NJ Inactive Manalapan Preserve 2 Elkridge Way Manalapan Monmouth NJ Inactive Manasquan River Crossing 1 Ethan Drive Farmingdale Monmouth NJ Inactive Riviera at Freehold 15 Quincy Court Freehold Monmouth NJ Inactive Taylors Mill Chase 1 Rockingham Court Manalapan Monmouth NJ Inactive Estates at Long Valley 8 Ridgeline Road Flanders Morris NJ Active Morris Chase 1 Greenwich Court Budd Lake Morris NJ Active Morris Hunt 2 Sovereign Drive Flanders Morris NJ Active Regency at Denville 10 Jade Circle Denville Morris NJ Inactive Tanners Brook 4 Carlisle Court Chester Morris NJ Inactive Wyndham Point 3 Vista Dive Flanders Morris NJ Inactive Enclave at Manasquan River 72 Streambank Drive Freehold Ocean NJ Inactive Riveria at Westlake 48 Oakmont Lane Jackson Ocean NJ Inactive Seabreeze at Lacey 7 Braemore Court Forked River Ocean NJ Active Villas at Manahawkin 2 Crane Court Manahawkin Ocean NJ Active Ramapo Ridge 90 Finch Road Ringwood Passaic NJ Inactive Hillsborough Chase 6 Frey Road Hillsborough Somerset NJ Active Preserve at Hillsborough 3 Boehm Way Hillsborough Somerset NJ Active Royce Brook Meadows 4 Todd Street Hillsborough Somerset NJ Inactive Andover Ridge 2 Stone Forge Road Andover Sussex NJ Inactive Briar Crest at Crystal Springs 84 Briar Court Hamburg Sussex NJ Inactive Chapel Hill at Sparta 1 Chapel Hill Court Sparta Sussex NJ Active High Ridge Estates 2 High Ridge Lane Augusta Sussex NJ Active Ridgeview at Sparta 13 Triple Crown Drive Sparta Sussex NJ Inactive Rolling Hills Estates 3 Sterling Drive Wantage Sussex NJ Inactive Scenic Hills Property 23 Scenic Hills Drive Blairstown Warren NJ Inactive

-- 
Kate Millsaps
Program Assistant
NJ Chapter of the Sierra Club
609-656-7612
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Received on 2012-06-27 09:09:13

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