Co. to Pay $105,000 and Restore Wetlands Following Alleged Illegal Wastewater Discharges
BOSTON - A Westborough company that supplies manufacturers with high fructose corn syrup was ordered to restore wetlands and pay a penalty to the state for allegedly discharging industrial rinse water into wetlands surrounding its distribution plant, according to a settlement announced by Attorney General Martha Coakley.
“It is critically important that we safeguard our state’s waterways and wetlands,” said Attorney General Martha Coakley. “We will continue to vigorously enforce the Commonwealth’s environmental laws to ensure that companies don’t skirt the laws.”
Tate & Lyle Ingredients Americas LLC (“Tate & Lyle”) will pay a $105,000 penalty to the state, and must restore the altered wetlands, after the state claimed that the company dumped rinse water used to clean the interior of the tanker trucks, used to transport corn syrup, into a culvert behind the plant, instead of shipping this wastewater offsite for proper disposal.
According to the Attorney General’s lawsuit, Tate & Lyle, a limited liability company organized in Delaware, operates a distribution center at 30 Walkup Drive in Westborough to supply beverage manufacturers with high fructose corn syrup produced by its manufacturing plant in Decatur, Illinois. Tate & Lyle regularly cleans syrup tanks with hot water, and from November 2006 until August 2007, rather than collecting and properly disposing of the syrup-laden rinse water, the company allegedly dumped the wastewater into a culvert behind the plant, fouling the waters in a nearby stream, and damaging nearby bordering vegetated wetlands.
The company allegedly altered approximately 12,000 square feet of bordering vegetated wetlands by its illegal discharges of rinse water, in violation of the state Clean Waters and Wetlands Protection Acts. The settlement filed today requires Tate & Lyle to restore the damaged wetlands pursuant to a plan approved by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), and to remove any invasive plant species that may be found in those areas. The company is also under a court order properly to dispose of its rinse water in the future.
"Companies must prioritize the safe management of large volumes of wastewater, which are capable of damaging environmental resources such as wetlands, surface water, and groundwater,” said MassDEP Commissioner Kenneth L. Kimmell. “These areas are protected because of the valuable role they play in protecting water quality, habitat for wildlife and other important environmental values.”
Assistant Attorney General Andrew Goldberg, of AG Coakley’s Environmental Protection Division, is handling the case. Attorney Mary Jude Pigsley is handling the case for MassDEP, along with environmental analysts Jennifer Macionus and Gary Dulmaine.