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Subdivision developer faces big fine for damage to North Fork of Payette River

Developers of a Smiths Ferry subdivision are facing fines of up to $125,000 for storm water violations impacting the North Fork of the Payette River, the EPA announced today. The agency said Sal Gallucci, JJS Southwest LLC and Whitehawk Land Development Corp. failed to apply for a construction general permit under the Clean Water Act before building roads at the Whitehawk Subdivision from 2005 to 2009. Inspections in 2008 and 2009 at the 850-acre property showed that storm water contaminated with sediment, sand, dirt and more was washing into the river as a result of the unpermitted construction. “The operators failed to take proper precautions such as stabilizing slopes to prevent discharges,” the EPA said. The Clean Water Act requires storm water permits for developers and general contractors at construction sites larger than one acre; see more info on that here.

“The North Fork of the Payette River is one of Idaho’s gems, and it must be protected,” said Jim Werntz, director of Idaho operations for the EPA. “Developers and contractors need to follow the permit requirements and properly engineer roads within their construction sites so that sediment runoff does not pollute Idaho’s valuable waterways.”