Coakley reaches settlement with supplier

Bryan Cohen Nov. 8, 2011, 1:16pm


BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced a settlement on Monday with a high fructose corn syrup supplier in Westborough requiring it to restore wetlands and pay the state a $105,000 penalty.

Tate & Lyle Ingredients Americas LLC allegedly discharged industrial rinse water into wetlands surrounding its distribution plant. The company will pay a $105,000 penalty to the state and must restore the altered wetlands. The state alleges that the company dumped rinse water used to clean the interior of the tanker trucks that transport corn syrup, into a culvert behind the plant. The company should have instead shipped the wastewater offsite for proper disposal.

"It is critically important that we safeguard our state's waterways and wetlands," Coakley said. "We will continue to vigorously enforce the commonwealth's environmental laws to ensure that companies don't skirt the laws."

Tate & Lyle, a limited liability company organized in Delaware, operates a distribution center to supply beverage manufacturers with high fructose corn syrup produced by its manufacturing plant in Decatur, Ill. Tate & Lyle regularly cleans syrup tanks with hot water, and from November 2006 until August 2007, rather than collecting and properly disposing of the syrup-laden rinse water, the company allegedly dumped the wastewater into a culvert located behind the plant. This alleged action allegedly fouled the waters in a nearby stream and damaged nearby bordering vegetated wetlands.

The company allegedly altered approximately 12,000 square feet of bordering vegetated wetlands with its illegal discharges of rinse water, in violation of the state Clean Waters and Wetlands Protection Acts.

The settlement requires Tate & Lyle to restore the damaged wetlands pursuant to a plan approved by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. Additionally, the company must remove any invasive plant species that may be found in those areas. The company is also under a court order to properly dispose of its rinse water in the future.

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