DEP Fines Construction Company for Water Quality Violations in Berks County

HARRISBURG – Quaker Homes Inc. must correct a series of violations at a residential subdivision in Bally Borough, Berks County, and pay $18,900 in penalties under a settlement agreement with the Department of Environmental Protection,

“Quaker Homes violated the terms of its earth disturbance permit, and performed some work outside of its authorization,” said Rachel Diamond, DEP southcentral regional director. “Developers must realize that they cannot disregard the state’s regulations as those actions can harm our environment.”

Inspections by the Berks County Conservation District between July and December 2007 revealed Quaker Homes failed to implement and maintain erosion and sedimentation control best management practices at the Park Place development in the borough. The company’s work created a potential for sediment pollution to an unnamed tributary to the West Branch of the Perkiomen Creek.

Sediment pollution can cloud streams and accumulate on the bottom of a waterway, choking aquatic life and affecting habitat.

The company was also found to have constructed a paved street through .22 acres of delineated wetlands and removed approximately 600 feet of stream bed without obtaining the necessary water obstruction and encroachment permit.

Quaker Homes must submit detailed stream restoration and monitoring plans for the affected area, create .47 acres of wetlands, and submit a revised erosion and sedimentation plan. All restoration work must be completed by Oct. 1, 2009.

The company was fined $12,847 for violating the Clean Streams Law, and $3,500 for violating the Dam Safety and Encroachment Act. Quaker Homes has also agreed to pay an additional $2,500 fine to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission for violating the Fish and Boat Code.

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