Massachusetts Auto Salvage Company Settles Alleged Clean Water Act Violations
BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently reached an agreement with LKQ Northeast, Inc., a national owner and operator of auto salvage yards, to bring its three Massachusetts salvage yards into compliance with the Clean Water Act and pay penalties for alleged violations of the federal storm water requirements at the facilities.
Under the agreement, LKQ Northeast paid the following penalties for the alleged storm water noncompliance: $129,425 for its Webster facility, $83,000 for its Leominster facility, and $81,000 for its Southwick facility. All of the facilities had either not identified or incorrectly identified stormwater conveyance paths and/or discharge points (outfalls). Additionally, the facilities had conducted inadequate corrective actions to try and mitigate the monitored pollutants as required.
“Developing and following Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans helps companies ensure that they meet the limits and requirements for the discharge of pollutants from industrial activities allowed under their stormwater permits,” said EPA New England Acting Regional Administrator Deborah Szaro. “It’s important that companies comply with their permits so that surrounding neighbors and waterways are protected from harmful effects of exposure to pollution.”
Discharge of stormwater associated with industrial activities, including auto salvaging, is regulated under the Clean Water Act’s Multi-Sector General Permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Industrial Discharges (MSGP) and state water protection laws. These require permits and actions to minimize discharges of pollutants from these activities to surface waters.
Since issuance of the EPA orders, the company has taken steps to prevent the discharge of pollutants from storm water runoff into Browns Brook (near the Webster facility), Fall and Wekepeke Brooks (near the Leominster facility), and Kellog Brook (near the Southwick facility). These steps include submission of updated storm water pollution prevention plans, implementation and compliance with best management practices to prevent discharges, and fulfillment of all maintenance, monitoring, sampling, inspections, training, and recordkeeping requirements.
EPA works to protect public health and the environment by limiting pollution in runoff from industrial activities. These pollutants may include total suspended solids, iron, aluminum, mercury, zinc, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, nickel, chemical oxygen demand, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), fuel oil, hydraulic oil, brake fluids, lead acid, and lead oxides.
For more information on Clean Water Act enforcement:
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