Builders of the Intercounty Connector paid $12,000 in fines recently to the Maryland Clean Water Fund for environmental violations while the road was being built between November 2008 and December 2009.
Rob Shreeve, manager of the ICC project, said the latest fine resulted from too much of a chemical being released into a stream near U.S. 29 and Briggs Chaney Road, close to the borders between Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.
The chemical chitosan — which was used to help filter sediment out of muddy water — killed seven fish in an unnamed tributary of Little Paint Branch, he said.
Environmental inspectors for the project discovered that too much of the chemical was released when they were inspecting the pumping operation, Shreeve said. The water was being pumped through a filtration system that used chitosan to help soil in the water clump.
Jay Apperson, spokesman for the Maryland Department of the Environment, said the fine was for two incidents, including the fish kill, where, according to MDE, five newts and eight minnows were killed.
The fine also covered the company’s failure to maintain a pump-around system in December 2009 allowing sediment-laden water to pollute waters, he said.
Paid in July, Shreeve said the fine was the second he knew the contractor paid. He said another fine was paid for a ruptured water line.
In 2010, Intercounty Constructors General Partnership paid $25,500 to the Clean Water Fund to settle claims that it failed to comply with an erosion and sediment control plan and a discharge permit in a series of incidents from May through July of that year that sent dirt washing into streams, according to MDE at the time.
Among the problems were inadequate erosion control and failures to prevent trucks from tracking large amounts of mud onto roadways. The areas affected were near Shady Grove Metro, Md. 97, the Brooke Manor hiker/biker path and the Festival at Muddy Branch Shopping Center. The streams affected were the North Branch of Rock Creek and a tributary of Muddy Branch.