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Maine Metal Recycling Facility Will Comply with Clean Water Act and Pay Penalty Under Settlement

02/10/2020
Contact Information: 
David Deegan (deegan.dave@epa.gov)
(617) 918-1017

LEWISTON – The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that the owners of three Maine metal recycling facilities have agreed to come into compliance with stormwater regulations and will pay a fine to resolve claims that they violated federal clean water laws and state permits at three Maine locations. The proposed settlement is subject to a 30-day public comment period.

Three closely-related companies - Grimmel Industries, Inc., Grimmel Industries, L.L.C., and Kennebec Scrap Iron, Inc - agreed to comply with their industrial stormwater permits and to pay $250,000 to resolve the claims involving facilities in Topsham, Lewiston, and Oakland. The facilities are involved in sorting, shredding, storing, and transferring processed scrap metal for recycling. State and federal EPA inspections revealed numerous violations of state industrial stormwater permit requirements and of federal oil spill prevention regulations.

The Consent Decree will require Grimmel to comply with all stormwater permit requirements, including submission of and compliance with adequate stormwater plans and proper maintenance, monitoring, and sampling.

"Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans are key to complying with industrial stormwater permits," said EPA New England Regional Administrator Dennis Deziel. "These plans should describe everything a facility needs to do to comply with its permit. This agreement ensures that the companies will stay vigilant in their compliance."

The Topsham Facility is on the site of a 20-acre former paper mill beside the Androscoggin River, and stormwater from industrial activity there flows into the river. Stormwater from the three-acre Lewiston facility eventually drains into a culvert running under a road, empties into Hart Brook, and then flows into the Androscoggin River less than a mile away. Stormwater from the Oakland Facility, located on 11 acres in a wooded area, flows into two streams that are tributaries to Messalonskee Stream.

Metal scrapyards can discharge pollutants through stormwater including suspended solids and many other pollutants which present the potential to harm human health, the environment, and aquatic ecosystems.

EPA's investigation concluded that the companies did not have adequate stormwater pollution prevention plans or best management practices and failed to do proper monitoring, sampling, inspections, and training. At the Topsham and Lewiston Facilities, they also violated oil spill prevention planning requirements.

More information:

The proposed Consent Decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval. The Complaint and the Consent Decree will be available on the Department of Justice website at: https://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees

More information on Industrial Stormwater: https://www.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater-discharges-industrial-activities

More information on Spill Prevention and Control and Countermeasure Plans: https://www.epa.gov/oil-spills-prevention-and-preparedness-regulations