Ready-mix concrete producer agrees to resolve clean water act violations
Boston, Mass. -- Newport Sand and Gravel Co., Inc. and Carroll Concrete Co., Inc., of Newport N.H., will pay a $200,000 civil penalty and implement a compliance program to resolve numerous violations of the Clean Water Act at five facilities in Vermont and New Hampshire.
Under the terms of a consent decree, the companies will implement storm water pollution control measures designed to reduce the impacts of storm water discharges into surface waters. The five facilities that are the subject of this consent decree are located in Newport, N.H. (two facilities), and the Vermont communities of Berlin, Guildhall and Swanton. The penalty in this case was reduced to $200,000 based on the financial condition of the companies.
Storm water run-off from industrial facilities can carry sediment, debris and other pollutants into surrounding waterways. The settlement requires that the company conduct additional monitoring and reporting of storm water discharges, hire personnel certified in storm water management to oversee compliance at all facilities where storm water permits are required, and provide training in storm water management for all operational employees.
The complaint, filed in federal court with the settlement, alleges that Clean Water Act violations were discovered after several federal inspections at the companies’ Vermont and New Hampshire facilities. The companies allegedly discharged process waste waters and storm water without proper permits from some facilities. Process waters include waters from sand-and-gravel and concrete production manufacturing operations such as vehicle and equipment cleaning, aggregate processing and washing, and concrete truck washout. The alleged violations also included failure to document routine facility inspections and failure to perform quarterly monitoring and annual evaluations.
The Clean Water Act requires that industrial facilities, such as ready-mix concrete plants, and sand and gravel facilities, have controls in place to minimize pollutants from being discharged with storm water into nearby waterways. Each site must have a storm water pollution prevention plan that sets guidelines and best management practices that the company will follow to prevent runoff from being contaminated by pollutants.
Without onsite controls, runoff from ready-mix concrete and sand and gravel facilities can flow directly to the nearest waterway and can cause water quality impairments such as siltation of rivers, beach closings, and fishing restrictions, and habitat degradation. As storm water flows over these sites, it can pick up pollutants, including sediment, used oil, pesticides, solvents and other debris. Polluted runoff can harm or kill fish and wildlife and can affect drinking water quality.
Since being notified of the violations by EPA, the company has made significant improvements to its storm water management systems.
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 Vermont, is subject to a 30-day public comment period 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 (http://epa.gov/region1/enforcement/water/index.html)
- EPA Storm Water Permits in New England (http://www.epa.gov/region1/npdes/stormwater)