TOLL BROTHERS, INC. PAYS BIG FINE.....PLUS!
Permit violations include the failure to stabilize disturbed soil and properly install and/or maintain stormwater controls such as silt fences, swales, sediment basins, sediment traps, storm drain inlet protection, and construction entrances and exits.
Most people agree that project profitability is an integral component and an absolute must if America's quality of life is to sustain itself. It takes money to clean stormwater after we contaminate it with sediment, human waste, nitrates, phosphates, metals, and whatever!
Unfortunately, most people do not understand the big picture of a watershed, and only consider their individual project impacts to a creek. Look at China for instance....they've made a mess of their water, air and land resources...by accident! They certainly didn't intend to contaminate their environment so drastically, but their long term vision for a quality of life was tucked behind the next dollar sign and not the stream that carried their pollution downstream. They failed to realize that their population explosion made them a target of someone upstream. In other words the saying, "What goes around, comes around!" really applies to China, and many other countries today.
|"DEAL WITH IT!"|
Here in the US, agriculture and timber harvesting have escaped the CWA whip for the most part, and it's evident that much of our nations water quality issues come from those industries. Timber harvesting as a whole has a horrible reputation of properly protecting streams while harvesting trees; agricultural practices contaminate thousands of streams with fecal coliform, nitrates and phosphates to say the least, and these industries will continue to build on their reputation for being water polluters simply because they face little, if any, financial accountability from Clean Water Act enforcement. It's been proven
|"CRITTERS USED TO LIVE HERE!"|
over and over again that the legal threat to losing profits from stiff penalties is far more affective than kindly asking a permittee to please protect their watershed. Just ask WalMart, and more recently, Toll Brothers.
So where do you draw the line? When is enough, enough? Should the USEPA be allowed to fine permittees huge dollars for environmental violations? Should we require better science to support water quality standards before they become enforceable? Should or can farming and timber harvesting companies afford to implement point source treatment technologies to keep our nations waters clean? Our population explosion (urbanization) alone is causing water quality problems, some nearly impossible to fix without a huge financial investment. Can we afford to pay the dollars it will cost us when MS4s raise their stormwater utility fee, or industries raise their prices to compensate for their investment into water treatment? One things for sure....People must have clean water to survive. The question is, "What are we willing to do for it?"
It's already been proven that state governments and industry are not trustworthy in and of themselves to provide Americans clean water. Unfortunately it's taken a big stick wielded by the federal government (USEPA) through enforcement of the Clean Water Act to return many of our nations waters into being fishable, swimable, boatable, and enjoyable! Let's not forget that Chattahoochee River had no fish south of Atlanta for decades. Let's not forget that as recently as last year a single company illegally discharged enough chemical into the Ogeechee River to kill 38,000 fish. Let's not forget the massive problem America had with erosion 50, 100, 200 years ago in Georgia and many other midwest and southeastern states. Accountability (jail time and/or stiff fines) for illegal discharges into our nations waters has given us an awesome country to live in!
So next time you go boating, swimming, or fishing; KISS A FISH for me, and be grateful along with him for the Clean Water Act!