A building inspector in the Town of Goshen, New York, has shut down the Legoland New York construction site until the owner and contractors can figure out a permanent solution to the site's drainage issues, according to the Times Herald-Record.
The area has experienced heavy rains, and runoff from the site has repeatedly polluted local waterways. The city has ordered temporary work stoppages before, but Neal Halloran, Goshen building inspector, said the project will remain closed this time until heavy rain subsides and until project officials submit a remediation plan for the site.
Halloran said the soonest the project will open is Monday, June 24.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in April cited Legoland New York's owner, Merlin Entertainment, and the project contractors, which include general contractor Holt Construction and engineering firm Lanc & Tully, with 22 violations related to the runoff. Those fines alone totaled more than $228,000. Both the town and the state have given them repeated notice about the issue, so it comes as no surprise that the city decided to shut the project down.
Since the April fines, according to the Times-Herald, the state has issued at least one more citation, and total fines are now $278,050. Goshen has also reportedly issued the project multiple citations.
Project officials have pointed to heavier-than-average rainfall as a cause of the runoff but have also taken a town plan to task, one that requires contractors to move excavated dirt around the site because of a ban on soil being carried on or off the job via truck. This was implemented to keep construction vehicles off town roads around the jobsite.
For contractors working on a site that presents issues related to runoff, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has developed guidelines to help deal with the problem.
When implementing a stormwater pollution prevention plan on the jobsite, the agency said it’s important to first train employees and subcontractors on the plan, which should be devoted equally to cleanup and prevention. The general contractor should also obtain from subcontractors signed agreements that acknowledge their responsibilities under the stormwater plan.
It's also important for contractors to implement these plans as soon as possible and always before construction begins. Periodic inspections of the site during the project to check for compliance with the program are also important, as are regular program evaluations and updates when necessary.