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NVR, Inc. Clean Water Act Settlement

WASHINGTON (June 15, 2017) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that it has reached an agreement with home developer NVR, Inc., where NVR will implement a program to improve compliance with federal clean water laws at its sites nationwide. Today’s agreement resolves allegations that NVR failed to comply with federal requirements to properly address pollution from stormwater at some of the company’s sites in New Jersey and New York. 

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Overview of Company

NVR, Inc. constructs, markets and sells a variety of residential properties and NVR currently constructs homes in fourteen states including New York and New Jersey. NVR’s typical business practice is to purchase lots for home construction within large subdivisions that were developed and originally owned by other companies. 

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NVR violated the stormwater requirements of the Clean Water Act by failing to obtain coverage under a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit prior to commencing construction activities at 65 sites in New York and New Jersey. In addition, once NVR obtained the required permit coverage, it failed to comply with permit requirements at several sites inspected by EPA. EPA inspectors identified inadequately implemented or maintained sediment and erosion controls such as silt fencing, protection at construction entrances and storm drain inlet protection. 

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Injunctive Relief

The proposed consent decree requires NVR to implement a company-wide stormwater compliance program that includes enhanced management oversight of all construction sites, adequate employee training, and additional inspections beyond the routine inspections required by NPDES permits. Under this compliance program, NVR will:

  • Designate trained stormwater compliance representatives at the site, division and corporate levels who will be responsible for stormwater compliance at each site.
  • Conduct pre-construction inspections at all new sites to ensure NPDES permits are obtained, stormwater pollution prevention plans are developed, and adequate stormwater controls are in place.
  • Conduct management oversight inspections at every site each quarter.
  • Implement a stormwater compliance training program for all stormwater compliance managers and other employees involved in construction activities.
  • Submit national compliance reports to EPA annually.

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Pollutant Impacts

Construction stormwater NPDES permits require construction site operators to develop stormwater pollution prevention plans and implement practices that minimize erosion and the discharge of sediment and other pollutants in stormwater. NVR’s implementation of the company-wide compliance program required by the proposed consent decree will reduce the discharge of sediment and other pollutants from its construction sites into waterways.

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Health and Environmental Benefits

Stormwater runoff from construction activities can significantly impact water quality. As stormwater flows over a construction site, it can pick up pollutants such as sediment, debris and chemicals and transport them to streams, rivers, lakes or coastal waters. Stormwater discharges containing sediment and turbidity can cause an array of physical, chemical and biological impacts on receiving waters. In addition to sediment and turbidity, other pollutants associated with construction sites (e.g., metals, organic compounds and nutrients) may become absorbed by or adsorbed onto mineral or organic particles found in fine sediment and subsequently discharged via stormwater runoff to nearby waters. The sediment, turbidity and other pollutants entrained in stormwater discharges contribute to aquatic ecosystem degradation, increased drinking water treatment costs, and impairment of the recreational uses and aesthetic values of waters. Sediment can also accumulate in rivers, lakes and reservoirs, leading to the need for dredging or other mitigation to prevent reduced water storage or navigation capacity. 

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Civil Penalty

NVR will pay a civil penalty of $425,000.

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Comment Period

The settlement, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.  Information on submitting comment is available at the Department of Justice.

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For more information, contact:

Susan Bruce
Water Enforcement Division
1200 Pennsylvania Ave, NW (Mail Code 2243A)
Washington, DC 20460
(202) 564-8329

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