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Naugatuck, Conn. Incinerator to Control Mercury Emissions Under Settlement

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David Deegan (

BOSTON – Equipment to limit the amount of mercury pollution sent into the atmosphere will be installed at an incinerator owned by Naugatuck, Conn., if an agreement between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Borough of Naugatuck, and the facility's operator is approved by the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut.

The Borough and its contract operator of the incinerator, Naugatuck Environmental Technologies, LLC, a subsidiary of Veolia Northeast, are both responsible under the proposed consent decree for the necessary upgrades at the Naugatuck sewage sludge incinerator.

The Naugatuck sewage sludge incinerator processes sewage waste from the community's wastewater treatment plant as well as from more than 50 other communities. Incineration of sewage sludge results in emissions of various pollutants, including mercury, dioxins and furans, cadmium, lead, and carbon monoxide.

Under federal Clean Air Act rules that became effective in 2016, sewage sludge incinerators must meet stringent emissions standards for 10 pollutants, must test their emissions, and must institute procedures to limit emissions. The Naugatuck facility failed to meet the compliance deadline for mercury emissions and for various other requirements of the rules, but contacted EPA to work out the compliance plan and schedule outlined in the proposed consent decree.

The agreement provides a legally-binding schedule for the facility to install and operate mercury controls within 24 months, and promptly meet all other Clean Air Act requirements. The facility will also pay a penalty of $100,000 and take measures to limit the mercury content of sewage sludge received at the incinerator.

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