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EPA Proposes $134,580 Penalty Against City of Watertown for Environmental Violations

Release Date: 07/01/1999
Contact Information: Peyton Fleming, EPA Press Office (617-918-1008)

BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a proposed penalty of $134,580 against the City of Watertown for hazardous waste and Clean Water Act violations discovered last year at a Department of Public Works facility.

The administrative complaint, filed this week, cites a half-dozen violations at the DPW garage at 124 Orchard St. when it was inspected by EPA, including failure to conduct adequate evaluations of hazardous waste materials, failure to label and date hazardous waste containers, failure to prepare a spill prevention plan and failure to provide proper training on environmental compliance.

The DPW garage was targeted for inspection as part of a two-pronged enforcement effort by EPA focusing on public agency compliance with environmental laws and the cleanup of the Charles River.

Watertown is among two-dozen communities that abut the Charles River. The DPW garage specifically is a half-mile from the river and is linked to a combined storm drain/sewer system that discharges into the river after heavy rainstorms.

"Environmental compliance by municipalities is a key piece of our initiative to make the Charles River fishable and swimmable by the year 2005," said John P. DeVillars, EPA's New England Administrator. "Communities such as Watertown need to make sure that all efforts are being taken to minimize the potential of pollutants entering this local treasure."

The administrative order requires the city to come into immediate compliance with hazardous waste regulations that were violated. The city already has submitted an acceptable spill prevention plan as is required under the Clean Water Act.