Boston Water and Sewer paying civil penalty

Michael P. Tremoglie Aug. 27, 2012, 10:27am

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - For the second time in as many days, a Boston institution has been penalized for water pollution.

The Boston Water and Sewer Commission will pay a civil penalty of $235,000 for violations of the Clean Water Act and will perform about a $160,000 worth of supplemental environmental projects, per the terms of a consent decree entered Thursday in federal court.

The consent decree, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, was the result of a federal enforcement action brought by the Department of Justice on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency, which joined a citizen lawsuit initiated the Conservation Law Foundation. The CLF filed the original complaint in the case and was an active plaintiff in the case.

"Together with our co-plaintiff CLF, we were able to progress from litigation to a settlement that is both comprehensive in its scope and stringent in its requirements and deadlines," said Carmen Ortiz, U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts.

"I am pleased that the BWSC is prepared to be proactive by taking a broad range of actions to minimize the pollutants in its stormwater discharges to Boston's rivers, streams and harbor."

According to the DOJ, the complaints filed by CLF and EPA alleged violations of the Clean Water Act involving the discharge of raw sewage and other pollutants to surface waters near heavily used recreation areas, as well as to the Charles, Mystic and Neponset rivers. According to the allegations, these discharges have occurred through both illegal sewer connections to the BWSC storm drain system and sanitary sewer overflows that discharge to the BWSC storm drain system or directly to local surface water.

The complaints also alleged that BWSC violated conditions of its permit regarding the implementation discharged pollutants in stormwater that violated water quality standards, and failed to develop and implement a number of programs required by the permit, including a program to inspect stormwater controls at construction sites throughout the city of Boston.

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Organizations in this Story

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20460

City of Boston
1 City Hall Square
Boston, MA 02201

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