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EPA SETTLES CLEAN WATER ACT CASE WITH MEDWAY-BASED POLLUTION CONTROL DISTRICT; AGREEMENT BENEFITS CHARLES RIVER AND FRANKLIN WELL FIELD

Release Date: 08/13/1999
Contact Information: Peyton Fleming, EPA Press Office (617-918-1008)

BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has settled an enforcement case with the Charles River Pollution Control District, with the district agreeing to pay a $26,740 penalty and provide $60,000 to help recharge a well field in the Town of Franklin.

The settlement stems from a complaint against the district for its failure to properly implement an industrial pretreatment program, which would help limit the amount of pollutants entering the district's wastewater treatment plant in Medway.

Specifically, EPA's complaint cited the district for failing to: inspect and sample all industrial users at least once a year; identify all industrial users subject to federal pretreatment standards; and submit annual pretreatment reports to EPA. The Clean Water Act violations, discovered during EPA compliance inspections, took place from January 1997 to March of this year.

In addition to paying the penalty, the district has agreed to a $60,000 Supplemental Environmental Project involving a pilot groundwater project to help recharge Franklin's Well #8. The project will involve collecting stormwater from a local subdivision, treating it in settling ponds and a vegetative filter system and then directing it towards the well.

The project was prompted by the perennial summertime problem of high water demand drawing down Franklin's wells below the groundwater table to the point that water ends up being pulled from the Charles River. Reduced water flows in the river have been identified as a major water quality problem in the Charles River.

"This agreement is a great outcome that will help address a big problem in the Charles River," said John P. DeVillars, EPA's New England Administrator. "It also sends a message about the importance of pretreatment programs and that noncompliance will not be tolerated."

"We are encouraging all watershed towns to find ways to keep water local," added Bob Zimmerman, executive director of the Charles River Watershed Association. "This project will serve as an important demonstration of how to do that."