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Thursday, October 29, 2009

EPA Spanks Lennar With Fines For Dust (But In Arizona, Not Hunters Point)

Posted By on Thu, Oct 29, 2009 at 5:01 PM

Oops, they did it again. Lennar, the company that drew activist hellfire for failing to control dust in Bayview during the early stages of its construction at the Hunters Point Shipyard, is now facing fines for similar dust violations in Arizona.

The company will have to pay the Environmental Protection Agency a $182,519 settlement for not removing particulate matter from vehicles and not immediately cleaning up dust tracked 50 feet beyond the residential construction sites in Maricopa County, the agency announced today.

More than $144,000 of the fee will go towards outfitting Phoenix's city-owned vehicles and equipment with particulate matter emission control devices. Dust can trigger asthma problems and irritate eyes, and even trigger premature death in people with heart and lung disease when breathed into the lungs, the agency says.

In San Francisco, Lennar had to pay a $515,000 civil penalty to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District in 2008 for exceeding allowed dust levels at the company's construction site at the shipyard.

On that site, the parameters were set very low since the dirt contains naturally occurring asbestos. Multiple government agencies including the EPA and the city have agreed the exceedences will not cause long-term health impacts on surrounding residents. For more on the politics around the dust at the site, read our cover story here.

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