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South Hadley, Mass. Faces Fine for Clean Water Violations

Release Date: 12/12/2007
Contact Information: Paula Ballentine, (617) 918-1027

(Boston, Mass. - December 12, 2007) - The town of South Hadley, Mass. faces a proposed fine of up to $157,500 for violations of the federal Clean Water Act related to the operation of its wastewater treatment facility and its combined storm water and sanitary sewer system.

During heavy rain events, water flows in the sewer system exceed its capacity and excess flow is discharged from three Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) outfalls into tributaries of the Connecticut River.

According to EPA’s New England office, the Town violated the terms of its water permit from January 2003 to July 2005 when it failed to measure and record all discharges from the system’s CSO outfalls.

Although the discharges from the CSO outfalls themselves are not prohibited by the Town’s water permit, the Town is required to closely monitor and record all discharges from the outfalls.

“These Clean Water Act violations prevented the EPA and the Town from knowing the quantity of pollutants being discharged into the Connecticut River and its tributaries,” noted Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “Furthermore, all permit holders must ensure that they are complying with their annual certification requirements.”

The Town has been under order from EPA since 1995 to work towards separating its sanitary sewers from its storm water sewers and eliminating all discharges from the CSO outfalls. The Town has steadily eliminated 12 of the original 15 CSO outfalls since that time and is on schedule to completely eliminate discharges from the three remaining CSO outfalls by the end of 2007.

EPA’s complaint also alleged that the Town failed to fully comply with conditions related to control of storm water discharges from the treatment plant facility.

More Information:

EPA's Clean Water Enforcement in New England (epa.gov/region1/enforcement/water)
Storm water issues in New England (epa.gov/region1/topics/water/stormwater.html)


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