- Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
- Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Media Contact for National Nursing Home Company to Pay up to $75,000 for Violations at Its Wastewater Treatment Plant in Littleton
BOSTON — A national nursing home company has agreed to pay up to $75,000 for allegedly failing to properly operate and maintain the wastewater treatment facility at its Littleton nursing home and for allegedly violating the terms of its groundwater discharge permit, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.
The consent judgment, entered in Suffolk Superior Court today, settles a lawsuit filed by the AG’s Office that alleges that Life Care Centers of America, Inc. (Life Care) violated the state’s Clean Waters Act at its wastewater treatment plant for its nursing home, Life Care Center of Nashoba Valley, by exceeding the limits for certain pollutants, including fecal coliform, in the facility’s groundwater discharge permit. The AG’s Office also alleges the defendant failed to address numerous operation and maintenance issues, which prevented the facility from properly operating.
“Clean water is critical for the wellbeing of our residents and businesses,” AG Healey said. “This settlement requires Life Care to pay for the illegal discharge of pollutants and to make facility improvements to prevent future contamination of the state’s groundwater.”
State laws and regulations require operators of wastewater treatment facilities to obtain a permit from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) that authorizes the discharge of wastewater into the ground. Permits set effluent limits for certain pollutants including fecal coliform, nitrogen, and biochemical oxygen demand that the operator is required to meet. The AG’s Office alleges that Life Care has failed to meet the limits set by its permit since 2012.
“MassDEP establishes limits for groundwater discharge permits in order to protect public health and the environment,” said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “Facilities with groundwater discharge permits have the responsibility to meet those limits.”
Under the terms of the settlement, Life Care will pay the state up to $75,000 and to make facility improvements, not required by the permit or regulations, including installing and activating a cellular alarm system and installing a separate storage shed to store on-site treatment chemical containers. Life Care has also agreed to automate the facility’s backwash system. According to the agreement, Life Care will provide the AG’s Office and MassDEP with a certificate proving it has completed the facility improvements laid out in the settlement.
This case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Betsy Harper, Deputy Chief of AG Healey’s Environmental Protection Division and Assistant Attorney General Tara Dunn with assistance from Rebecca Tobin, Regional Counsel, and David Boyer, Section Chief of the Wastewater Treatment Program, of MassDEP’s Central Regional Office in Worcester.