When a construction project stops or delays, the developer and/or the lender is wise to take proactive steps to prevent erosion. Once a site is cleared, graded, or any earthwork is completed, the site is more susceptible to erosion.
A pro active approach to maintaining the site and grading conditions is necessary to prevent added expense in the form of re-grading, corrective action or in some cases fines. There are instances of partially completed subdivisions being flooded as a result of silted over storm drains, landscaping and finish work being destroyed by runoff and even impacting the public or natural waterways due to excess sedimentation. Recently, one of the largest homebuilders in the US reached a settlement with EPA for Clean Water Act violations. Those violations involved lack of permits or failure to contain sediment on active construction sites. Several states have implemented erosion control programs strictly to monitor incomplete or dormant construction projects.
On abandoned sites it’s often not clear who’s responsible. A lender is wise to protect their collateral by monitoring the status of the erosion control for their assets. Employing best management practices such maintaining a silt fence, diverting storm water or maintaining low growth vegetation can potentially save millions of dollars in fines and follow up work.
At Partner Engineering and Science, we assist lenders in monitoring their assets to ensure erosion control measures are in place and then in the event that they are not, we help design and implement relatively inexpensive erosion control measures.