BOSTON (Legal Newsline) — Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has announced Berkshire Power Plant and its owner and management company agreed to settle after allegations they tampered with emissions equipment and submitted false information to environmental regulators.
“This resolution addresses a pattern of behavior by multiple persons and entities in obstructing the enforcement of laws designed to protect the air we breathe,” said U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz.
The plant purportedly tampered with its air pollution monitoring equipment between 2009 and 2011. According to charges, it did so to cover up that the plant emitted pollutants that exceeded allowed levels. These alleged actions violate the Clean Air Act.
The defendants, as per the agreement, will pay more than $8 million in penalties, fines and community service payments.
“The deliberate scheme Berkshire Power Plant management and staff undertook gave them an unfair competitive advantage over responsible companies, and undermined a system that depends on honest data reporting,” said Tyler Amon, special agent in charge of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigation Division in Boston. “Maximizing profit to minimize the cost of controlling pollution is placing greed over protecting nearby communities. EPA will continue to pursue cases that maintain data integrity, so we can do our job to protect clean air.”