A Massachusetts resins manufacturer reached a settlement to pay a $38,860 penalty to settle claims it violated federal clean water laws, said officials at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
EPA’s allegations involve an incident on Sept. 30, 2014 when employees of Advance Coatings Co. in Westminster, MA, were routinely filling containers with Styrene, a chemical compound used in making resins.
Advance Coatings staff accidentally over-filled one container and an unknown amount spilled on the floor, but did not realize the product entered the sewer until a city employee notified them the next morning.
Advance Coatings then discovered the Styrene had run into the East Fitchburg publicly-owned sewer treatment system because a concrete berm surrounding a floor drain leading to the sewer suffered a compromise. The Styrene interfered with East Fitchburg’s treatment process and some of the Styrene passed through the treatment system, resulting in an unauthorized discharge into the Nashua River.
A follow-up inspection by EPA in April 2015 determined Advanced Coatings, which sits in the drainage basin of a wetlands tributary to the Whitman River, which flows to the Nashua River, is subject to the Oil Pollution Prevention regulations but had failed to prepare a Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plan.
Advance Coatings also failed to get the required National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit and discharged stormwater from its site without necessary authorization.
“By addressing these concerns, the facility will now be taking necessary steps to reduce the chance of an oil or chemical discharge that could harm people’s health or our environment,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office.