By JONATHAN STUART
The fish and ducks of the Jordan River can breath easier now. The Utah Division of Water Quality has levied fines on I-15 construction company Wasatch Constructors for polluting the river.
Wasatch Constructors has agreed to comply with environmental regulations and pay a $27,000 penalty to the Division of Water for polluting waters which feed into the Jordan River.
The construction company allowed waste waters to flow to a storm drain at its site near 400 South, which continued into the Jordan River, according the company’s settlement statement.
Steve McNeal, an environmental engineer for the Division of Water, said the violations by the construction company began in 1997. He said actions were brought against the company at that time because it was not meeting the Utah Water Quality Act requirements.
The Water Quality Act states individuals should not discharge pollutants into waters of the state which might harm the environment.
“Wasatch Constructors will pay $13,500 in cash and provide a training program for their workers to the amount of another $13,500,” McNeal said.
The training will be conducted for 700 union and non-union construction workers. The construction workers must be trained how to properly dispose of waste water from their site, McNeal said.
For Carol Provenzano, director of communications at Wasatch Constructors, the new training program is the most encouraging part of the settlement.
“This training program will help make proper water management a habit for all workers, not only the ones who work for Wasatch Constructors,” Provenzano said.
In order to comply, Wasatch Constructors must minimize the runoff and allow sediments in waste water to settle to comply with the Water Quality Act.
The disposal training will not only affect the pollution control during I-15 construction, it will also affect many other construction sites throughout the state because non-union workers will be trained, who will later move to other sites, Provenzano said.
“Our desire is to comply with all laws and required permits and the training of our workers will help us to do that,” Provenzano said.