N.H. AG announces $700,000 settlement with gravel and concrete company

By Bryan Cohen | Apr 5, 2013

CONCORD, N.H. (Legal Newsline) -- New Hampshire Attorney General Michael Delaney and Department of Environmental Services Commissioner Thomas Burack announced a $700,000 settlement on Thursday with a concrete and gravel company to resolve allegations of wetlands filling.

Torromeo Industries Inc. allegedly engaged in the unpermitted filling of about 12.5 acres of wetlands and diverted more than one mile of perennial streams at its gravel mine and ready-mix concrete plant in Kingston.

The unpermitted wetlands fill is thought to be the largest ever in the state of New Hampshire.

Under the terms of a proposed settlement, Torromeo would pay a $700,000 civil penalty, $225,000 of which would be suspended on the condition the company complete wetland restoration on the site.

The state agreed to accept $175,000 in cash and 8,333 tons of stone as payment for the non-suspended portion of the penalty.

If the settlement is accepted, the state would use the stone in the Leighton Brook and Suncook River stabilization project in Epsom to protect Black Hall Road and the Route 4 bridge from future river damage.

As part of the agreement, Torromeo would also be required to restore 12.5 acres of wetlands and approximately 800 feet of a diverted perennial stream and permanently protect 69 acres of wetlands and adjacent land the company owns.

The dredging or filling of wetlands is strictly prohibited under New Hampshire law unless a company or individual applies for and receives a permit approving the process. Companies or individuals that illegally fill wetlands must remove the fill and restore the wetlands as much as possible.

In a separate federal action, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on Thursday that Torromeo will pay a $135,000 civil penalty, implement a compliance program to resolve Clean Water Act violations at the Kingston plant and implement a $500,000 supplemental environmental project.

The two agreements occurred as a result of a joint inspection by the DES and the EPA in 2009.

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