Toll Brothers Weyhill Estates Project Under DEP Scrutiny
DEP is weighing fines against developer Toll Brothers because of alleged pollution to Laurel Run in Upper Saucon Township.
The nation's largest builder of luxury homes—Toll Brothers—is facing possible Pa. Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) fines because of alleged pollution to Laurel Run in Upper Saucon Township.
Investigators say dirt moved for the developer's Weyhill Estates project muddied Laurel Run.
Toll Brothers must control sediment runoff to protect the creek, DEP spokeswoman Colleen Connolly said Monday.
DEP is considering civil penalties against Toll Brothers, which has a history of violations, Connolly added. Enforcement action could be announced in 30 to 45 days.
Toll Brothers plans to build 125 luxury homes on about 100 acres east of Route 378 near the Saucon Valley Country Club in Upper Saucon Township.
The Morning Call reviewed Lehigh County Conservation District records through a Right to Know request and reported March 1 that "Inspectors have visited the site at least four times since Jan. 17 and found violations each time."
Construction projects can harm the environment if stormwater runoff from building sites carries pollutants such as paint, oil, solvents and trash into streams.
The Upper Saucon problems came after Toll Brothers was hit with a $741,000 federal fine last year as a result of more than 600 Clean Water Act violations in 25 states, including Pennsylvania.
"The settlement requires Toll Brothers to obtain all required permits, develop site-specific pollution prevention plans for each construction site, conduct additional site inspections beyond those required by stormwater regulations, and document and promptly correct any problems. The company must properly train construction managers and contractors on stormwater requirements and designate trained staff for each site. Toll Brothers must also submit national compliance summary reports to EPA based on management oversight inspections and reviews."
Despite the federal fine, Toll Brothers posted a profit of $4.4 million for the quarter that ended Jan. 31, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The company's revenue rose 32 percent to $424.6 million.