Gravel firms fined $250k in wetlands case

A Londonderry sand and gravel mining company and three related firms have agreed to pay a $250,000 fine to settle allegations that they violated stormwater and wetlands laws.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it performed several inspections between 2002 and 2005 at the 300-acre Londonderry site owned and operated by Hudson Sand and Gravel Inc., Ballinger Properties LLC, Five N Associates and Tana Properties Limited Partnership, and found several alleged violations of federal storm water regulations including:

• Failing to apply for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for mining operations that were discharging stormwater without appropriate controls over a period of several years and for which no stormwater pollution prevention plan was prepared.
• Placing a large quantity of rock and a concrete manhole in a 200-foot portion of a tributary to Little Cohas Brook and discharging dredged or fill material into both the tributary and into wetlands forming the headwaters of the brook tributary.
• Failing to obtain a permit for the work.

Besides the financial penalty, the settlement requires that the companies restore filled-in wetlands and stream to their previous condition.

The EPA said the companies have already filed a notice of intent under the industrial Multi-Sector General NPDES permit and by implementing some best management practices to the storm water system. The companies also have submitted Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans for the site.— CINDY KIBBE

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