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A company in Billerica, Mass., that makes X-ray detection and related equipment has agreed to pay $40,000 to settle Environmental Protection Agency claims that it violated the federal Clean Water Act.
According to EPA’s New England office, American Science & Engineering violated the Clean Water Act by discharging without authorization stormwater associated with industrial activity. The stormwater was discharged into wetlands adjacent to a Shawsheen River tributary.
The Clean Water Act requires many industrial operations to have permits and controls in place to prevent pollutants from being discharged with stormwater into nearby waterways. Each site must have a stormwater pollution prevention plan that puts in place practices that the company will follow to prevent runoff from being contaminated by pollutants. Without these controls, stormwater can pick up pollutants as it flows over the site. The stormwater can then carry the pollutants to nearby waterways, where they can degrade water quality as well as swimming, fishing and drinking water.
AS&E disclosed its violations to EPA and took some measures to minimize storm water runoff, but the company did not meet all legal requirements, nor all the requirements of EPA’s self-disclosure policy. EPA took the company’s disclosure into consideration in setting the penalty.