Strategic Materials, Inc. has agreed to pay a penalty of $159,750 to settle EPA's claims that it violated the federal Clean Water Act by allowing polluted storm water from its Franklin facility to flow into nearby waters, according to an EPA press release.
The company is based in Houston, Texas, and operates the glass recycling facility located at the edge of wetlands abutting Mine Brook, a tributary of the Charles River.
EPA alleged that Strategic Materials initially failed to obtain permit coverage for its storm water discharges and failed to prepare a storm water pollution prevention plan.
EPA also alleged that once the company had obtained permit coverage, it discharged storm water from the facility in violation of various terms and conditions of EPA's "Multi-Sector General Permit for Storm-water Discharges Associated with Industrial Activity," the press release stated.
The company did not immediately respond to calls for comment.
Since the inspection, Strategic Materials has come into compliance with the federal law, EPA said, and the company revised its storm water pollution prevention plan, improved the design and implementation of control measures that minimize pollutant discharges, and began regularly performing the required facility inspections and outfall assessments.
The Clean Water Act requires industrial facilities, such as recycling facilities, to 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 on-site controls, runoff from recycling facilities can flow directly to the nearest waterway and can cause water quality impairments such as siltation of wetlands and rivers, beach closings, fishing restrictions, and habitat degradation. As storm water flows over these sites, it can pick up pollutants, including sediment and other debris that can inhibit the receiving streams' use, EPA said.
For more information about an EPA Clean Water Multi-Sector General Permit, visit cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater/msgp.cfm.
Laura Franzini can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.