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Middlesex County Wastewater Treatment Plant at Billerica Settles Clean Water Act Violations

Release Date: 02/18/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: David Deegan, EPA Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1017

For Immediate Release: February 18, 2005; Release # dd050204

BOSTON – The Middlesex Sheriff’s Office and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which respectively operate and own the Billerica Jail and House of Correction in Billerica, MA, which in turn operates a domestic wastewater treatment facility, have reached a settlement with EPA stemming from violations of the federal Clean Water Act.

The wastewater treatment plant violated the environmental statute by discharging pollutants into to the Concord River, violating limits contained in the facility’s “National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Permit,” also referred to as a NPDES permit.

On approximately 220 occasions between Jan. 1999 and April 2004, the plant discharged effluent to the Concord River exceeding effluent limits for total residual chlorine, fecal coliform bacteria, biochemical oxygen demand and total suspended solids.

The owner and operator of the plant will pay a penalty of $157,500. Since Sept. 2004, when EPA formally filed an administrative complaint on this issue, the plant has retained a contractor to correct facility infrastructure issues that led to the discharged pollution to the river. The owner and operator are also working with the Town of Billerica to construct a sewer line that will connect the Billerica Jail and House of Correction to the Town of Billerica’s publicly-owned treatment works. The connection to the Town’s sewer system is scheduled to be completed in April 2005.

"It is very important that wastewater treatment plants meet their responsibilities, ensuring that we all can enjoy clean and healthy water, “ said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator for EPA's New England Office. “Clean water is essential to a healthy environment. I am hopeful that Middlesex County is now on the path to meeting state and federal standards.”

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