Kingston, N.H. Concrete Producer Agrees To Resolve Clean Water Act Violations
BOSTON, MA – Torromeo Industries, Inc. will pay a $135,000 civil penalty and implement a compliance program to resolve numerous violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA) at its Kingston, N.H. sand, gravel and stone mining and ready-mix concrete plant. The settlement is pursuant to a consent decree lodged today in the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire, between the company and the U.S. Government.
In addition to paying the $135,000 penalty, the company has agreed to implement a $500,000 Supplemental Environmental Project. The company will remove an impervious parking lot adjacent to Cobbett’s Pond, in Windham, N.H., and replace it with a 35,000 sq. foot pervious concrete parking lot. This project will result in a significant decrease in the amount of polluted storm water that drains into Cobbett’s Pond.
Under the terms of the federal consent decree, the company will implement storm water pollution control measures designed to reduce the impacts of storm water discharges into surface waters. In addition, the company will completely eliminate process waste water discharges from the site.
The complaint, filed in federal district court in Nov. 2010, alleged that the company violated the Clean Water Act by discharging stormwater and process water into wetlands and waterways, including the Little River, without the required authorization under a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit.
In a parallel state settlement, the NHDES announced today that the company has agreed to pay a $700,000 civil penalty for the unpermitted filling of approximately 12.5 acres of wetlands and streams at its plant in Kingston, N.H. The state settlement requires the company to restore a significant area of filled wetlands and to preserve 69 acres of land on Bayberry Pond in Kingston. The federal and state enforcement actions arose from a joint inspection by the U.S. EPA and NHDES in 2009.
Process waste water discharges are strictly prohibited under the CWA, unless a company obtains a permit to allow for those discharges. Waste water from concrete plants typically contains high pH, oils, greases, and high levels or total suspended solids. When these solids settle they can form sediment deposits on the bottom of the water bodies that destroy the bottom fauna and the spawning grounds of fish. High pH waters from truck wash-out and wash-off from concrete manufacturing sites are highly corrosive. Rather than obtain individual discharge permits with stringent effluent limitations, most concrete manufacturing facilities contain, treat, and often recycle their process wastewaters onsite. As part of this settlement, Torromeo agreed to eliminate all off-site waste water discharges.
“Stormwater runoff and process water discharges from the sand and gravel and ready-mix concrete industry are a significant source of water pollution,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “We consider the violations in this case to be extremely serious and we are glad that the company worked with EPA and the State to resolve these violations.”
United States Attorney John Kacavas credits the cooperative efforts of the EPA Region 1, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, and Torromeo Industries in developing a workable plan. “The terms of the Consent Decree will protect New Hampshire’s natural resources from further degradation and deter others from engaging in irresponsible environmental impact practices.”
The settlement requires that the company conduct additional monitoring and reporting of storm water discharges, maintain a storm water pollution prevention plan, hire personnel certified in storm water management to oversee compliance at all both its Kingston, N.H. and Methuen, Mass. facilities where storm water permits are required, and provide training in storm water management for all operational employees.
The settlement is the latest in a series of federal enforcement actions to address storm water violations from industrial facilities and construction sites around the country.
The consent decree, lodged in the U.S. District Court for New Hampshire, is subject to a 30-day public comment period commencing upon publication of notice of lodging of the consent decree in the federal register, and approval by the federal court. A copy of the consent decree will be available on the Department of Justice Web site at http://www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html.
- EPA enforcement of Clean Water Act in New England https://www3.epa.gov/region1/sso/enforcement.html
- Storm Water Permits in New England http://epa.gov/region1/npdes/stormwater