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MacLellan Concrete Settlement with EPA Will Reduce Stormwater Pollution at Lowell, Mass. Facility

10/04/2018
Contact Information: 
John Senn (senn.john@epa.gov)
(617) 918-1019

(BOSTON) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with J.G. MacLellan Concrete Co., that resolves alleged violations of the Clean Water Act. MacLellan, which manufactures ready-mix concrete in Lowell, Mass., and Milford, N.H., has agreed to make environmental improvements at its Lowell plant worth $94,500 to settle claims that it violated federal clean water laws at both facilities. MacLellan also agreed to pay a penalty of $50,000 for its failure to fully comply with various Clean Water Act regulations related to its discharge of stormwater and storage of oil.

"This settlement means a cleaner Merrimack River and stands to prevent future violations at MacLellan's Lowell facility," said EPA New England Regional Administrator Alexandra Dunn. "Reducing stormwater pollution across New England is a top priority for EPA and this settlement furthers our work to protect and restore the region's iconic waters."

The settlement is the latest in a series of enforcement actions taken by EPA New England to address stormwater violations from industrial facilities and construction sites around New England.

Under the terms of the settlement, MacLellan Concrete Co., will remove a storm drain from a public road in front of the Lowell plant and re-grade the plant's entrances, which together will reduce pollution from stormwater discharges at the Lowell site. The Lowell facility discharges water into the Merrimack River, and the Milford facility discharges into the Skowhegan River.

The case stems from a January 2017 inspection in Lowell and a November 2016 inspection in Milford. Following these inspections, EPA's New England office charged the company with failure to follow the requirements in its permits for discharging stormwater, unauthorized discharge of water used in washing down its concrete trucks at the Lowell facility, and failure to comply with the Clean Water Act's Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure regulations.

Process waste water discharges are prohibited under the Clean Water Act unless a company obtains a permit allowing those discharges. Wastewater from concrete plants typically contains high pH, oils, greases, and high levels of solids. When these solids settle they can form sediment deposits that destroy plant life and spawning grounds of fish. Alkaline waters that wash-off trucks and from concrete manufacturing sites are highly corrosive. Rather than get individual discharge permits with strict waste limits, most concrete manufacturing facilities treat, and often recycle, their process wastewaters onsite.

More information is available on stormwater permits in New England at: https://www.epa.gov/npdes-permits/npdes-stormwater-permit-program-new-england.