(Boston, Mass. – Dec. 6, 2012) – 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, Mass. facility to flow into nearby waters. Strategic Materials, Inc., based in Houston, Texas, operates the glass recycling facility, which is 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 Strategic Materials obtained permit coverage, it discharged stormwater from the facility in violation of various terms and conditions of EPA’s “Multi-Sector General Permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Industrial Activity.”
Since the inspection, Strategic Materials has come into compliance with the federal law. 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 stormwater into nearby waterways. Each site must have a stormwater 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 stormwater flows over these sites, it can pick up pollutants, including sediment and other debris which can inhibit the receiving streams use.