The EPA announced Friday it has ordered the Kansas Department of Transportation to correct violations in controlling stormwater runoff on the U.S. Highway 59 construction site in Douglas and Franklin counties.
The EPA administrative compliance order noted a series of violations by the KDOT after an on-site inspection in August.
“EPA’s inspection of the U.S. Highway 59 site found numerous areas where sediment control was inadequate or altogether lacking,” the agency said in a news release from its regional office in Kansas City, Kan. “Several areas lacked silt fencing, berms or other equivalent means of controlling sediment moved by stormwater runoff.”
Along the 59 project, stormwater, snow melt, drainage, and runoff carries sediment and contaminants into tributaries of the West Fork of Tauy Creek and the Wakarusa River, the EPA said.
The EPA has given KDOT 30 days to submit a report detailing specific actions it has taken to correct the violations.
Stormwater runoff from construction sites can harm the environment and cause water quality problems by depositing sediment and picking up debris, pesticides, petroleum residues, chemicals, solvents, asphalts and acids, the EPA said.
Shortly after the inspection, the EPA gave KDOT a preliminary notice of violation. The EPA order means KDOT needs to do more to get into compliance with the construction permit that was issued for the project in 2007 by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
Construction began in spring 2007 on the $240 million project between Lawrence and Ottawa. The project has entailed widening the two-lane road to four lanes and is expected to be completed next year.