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EPA Proposes $40,000 Penalty for Wastewater Treatment Violations in Holyoke

Release Date: 10/12/04
Contact Information:

Contact: Peyton Fleming, EPA Press Office, 617-918-1008

For Immediate Release: Oct. 12, 2004; Release # 04-10-16

BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a $40,000 penalty against the city of Holyoke for failing to fully implement its EPA-approved industrial pretreatment program in accordance with its federal discharge permit and federal pretreatment regulations at the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

The city’s permit requires it to regulate industrial users which discharge wastewater into the city’s wastewater treatment plant. Water discharged to the city’s wastewater treatment plant is eventually discharged into the Connecticut River.

According to the EPA's Sept. 30 complaint, in the years 2000 through 2003, the city failed to:

    • adequately inspect or document inspections of industrial users;
    • re-issue permits to all industrial users;
    • take enforcement action against violating industrial users;
    • publish a notice of an industrial user that was in significant noncompliance for exceeding a chromium discharge limit; and
    • evaluate the need for industrial user slug discharge plans.
The complaint was based on information obtained by EPA during a September 2003 inspection. Officials at the treatment plant were told of the violations during this inspection and in a follow-up letter, according to EPA staff.

“Public agencies, citizens and businesses are all working hard to make the Connecticut a cleaner, healthier river,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator for EPA’s New England office "Holyoke, like other cities and towns along the river, needs to comply with environmental laws that will improve water quality in the river.”

A report from the facility in August 2004 and an inspection in September 2004 indicates the city has corrected the violations.

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