Roman Catholic Bishop of Sacramento to Settle in Stormwater Violations at Placer County Construction Project

By on January 13, 2020

The corporate entity representing the Roman Catholic Bishop of Sacramento has agreed to pay a $56,400 penalty for allowing stormwater to erode soils and discharge sediment into waterways below a retreat being built in Placer County.

The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board determined that the developer hired by the corporation failed to fulfill requirements of the General Permit for Storm Water Discharges Associated with Construction and Land Disturbance Activities.

The alleged violations, which occurred at the Trinity Pines Catholic Center site in November and December of 2018, include failure to include best management practices in their stormwater pollution prevention plan and neglecting to install appropriate measures to prevent sediment and turbid discharges during storms.

“The developer for this project failed to prepare an adequate plan required at all construction sites to hold sediment back during rain events and keep it from flowing offsite and damaging nearby waterways,” said Andrew Altevogt, Assistant Executive Officer for the Central Valley Water Board. “There was no effective erosion control at this location until the deficiencies were pointed out by inspection staff.”

In January 2019, the developer modified the prevention plan and installed stormwater protections that met the permit requirements.

Owners of construction sites larger than one acre must enroll in the stormwater permitting program, which among other things, requires hiring a “stormwater professional” to design and install erosion and sediment controls. Discharges of sediment can cloud the receiving water, which reduces the amount of sunlight reaching aquatic plants. These flows can also clog fish gills, smother aquatic habitat and spawning areas, and transport other materials such as nutrients, metals, and oil and grease which can negatively impact aquatic life and habitat.