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Release Date: 08/20/1997
Contact Information: Leo Kay, Press Office, (617)918-4154

BOSTON -- The Environmental Protection Agency reached a settlement with Stern-Leach, Inc. of Attleboro, Mass. today that calls for the metal manufacturer to pay a $125,000 penalty for sending contaminated wastewater to the city's treatment plant in violation of the Clean Water Act.

In addition, the company has agreed to make a number of improvements to its existing pretreatment system that will help to clean up the wastewater that is sent to the City of Attleboro's treatment plant.

The company repeatedly exceeded the EPA's legal sewer discharge limits by sending wastewater with high levels of metals to the Attleboro treatment plant, placing a strain on the plant's ability to process sewage and other wastewater. The penalty also cites Stern-Leach for failing to submit pretreatment reports as required by federal law.

"Stern-Leach made a mistake, but has since stepped up to the plate to correct all of its problems," said John P. DeVillars, administrator of the EPA's New England office. "We are confident that the improvements the company has made will prevent any future problems for the local treatment plant, or for the Attleboro community as a whole."

Stern-Leach has discharged treated wastewater to the Attleboro treatment plant since 1988, yet the company had not submitted federally required reporting documentation to the EPA until 1995. EPA investigators discovered the company's violations during a routine audit of Attleboro's pretreatment program in 1995.