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Water/Waste Processing e-News / Wastewater

Concrete manufacturer to pay $135,000 civil penalty for Clean Water Act violations

April 09, 2013
KEYWORDS clean water act / EPA
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concrete plant
Wastewater from concrete plants can form sediment deposits on the bottom of water bodies, which poses a risk to fish and wildlife.

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 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced.

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 stormwater that drains into Cobbett’s Pond.

Under the terms of the federal consent decree, the company will implement stormwater pollution control measures designed to reduce the impacts of stormwater discharges into surface waters. In addition, the company will completely eliminate process wastewater discharges from the site.

The complaint, filed in federal district court in November 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.

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Process wastewater discharges are strictly prohibited under the CWA, unless a company obtains a permit to allow for those discharges. Wastewater from concrete plants typically contains high pH, oils, greases, and high levels or total suspended solids, according to EPA. When these solids settle they can form sediment deposits on the bottom of 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 wastewater 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.”

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