Attleboro Company to Pay $50,000 Penalty for Unlawfully Storing Industrial Wastewater
Judgment Requires Engineered Materials Solutions, LLC to Connect Wastewater Discharges to the Sewer System
BOSTON – A metal-cladding company will pay a civil penalty of $50,000 to resolve allegations that it unlawfully stored industrial wastewater at its facility in Attleboro, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.
The consent judgment, entered Monday in Suffolk Superior Court, alleges that between October 2010 and May 2014, Engineered Materials Solutions, LLC (EMS) violated the state’s Industrial Wastewater Holding Tank Regulations by storing wastewater in holding tanks prior to shipping it offsite for treatment and disposal, even though EMS has an existing connection to the Attleboro sewer system. State regulations prohibit such storage where immediate discharge to a sewer system is feasible.
“We allege this company wrongfully stored industrial wastewater on-site, even though it has an existing connection to Attleboro’s sewer system,” AG Healey said. “The Holding Tank Regulations are intended to prevent wastewater from being unnecessarily transported on state roads and to avoid utilizing facilities with less effective treatment technologies. This settlement will ensure that industrial wastewater is properly disposed of moving forward.”
The AG’s Office alleges that EMS also inaccurately certified to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) in October 2010 that its facility was in compliance with the Holding Tank Regulations, stating that it was not feasible for it to discharge its industrial wastewater to a sewer system. MassDEP uncovered these violations as the result of an enforcement action against NewStream, LLC, which had been receiving wastewater for treatment from EMS. In May 2014, the AG’s Office reached a settlement with NewStream for failing to properly process and treat non-hazardous industrial wastewater.
“Proper management of industrial wastewater is essential,” MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg said. “Appropriate disposal options are available, and MassDEP is always ready to assist those needing help with environmental compliance.”
The Holding Tank Regulations are intended to promote the disposal of industrial wastewater within the sewer district in which it is produced, thereby reducing unnecessary storage, handling and transport of that wastewater.
Metal cladding involves bonding two different metals together under high pressure using rolling machinery and heat treatments. EMS’s metal-cladding operations produce liquid wastes, including acid and alkaline cleaning bath waters, and various rinse waters. According to the complaint, filed in May, prior to shipping its residual liquid waste to that off-site wastewater treatment facility, EMS stored it in on-site holding tanks and allegedly transferred approximately 50,000 gallons of liquid waste off-site for treatment and disposal each month.
Under the terms of the consent judgment, EMS is required to pay a civil penalty of $50,000 and connect all of its wastewater discharges to the Attleboro sewer system within one year. Of that amount, a total of $20,000 will be waived if EMS completes that connection within that timeframe.
This matter is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Tracy Triplett of Attorney General Healey’s Energy and Environment Bureau, with assistance from Environmental Engineers Robert Greene, P.E., and Daniel Gavin, P.E., and Counsel Daniel d’Hedouville of MassDEP’s Southeast Regional Office.