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EPA Settles Enforcement Case with Seabrook, NH for Clean Water Act Violations

Release Date: 07/15/04
Contact Information: Contact: Peyton Fleming, EPA Press Office (617-918-1008)

For Immediate Release: July 15, 2004; Release #04-07-12

BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that the town of Seabrook, NH has agreed to pay a $31,000 penalty for Clean Water Act violations at its wastewater treatment plant which discharges into the Atlantic Ocean.

EPA's administrative order requires the town to improve the plant's disinfection system and file a plan for improved maintenance of the facility and sewer system.

The penalty, part of an enforcement case settlement finalized this month, stems from violations of the facility's water discharge permit between January 1999 and August 2003. The violations included exceeding permit limits for total residual chlorine, fecal coliform bacteria, effluent toxicity, biochemical oxygen demand and total suspended solids. The town also failed to properly operate and maintain the wastewater treatment facilities and collection system.

The town was also cited for an incident in which an improperly maintained pumping station failed last August 24, resulting in about 180,000 gallons of untreated wastewater reaching Cains Brook.

"Clean water is vital for New Hampshire's seacoast, and cities and towns need to meet their environmental responsibilities to ensure these water resources are protected," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England Office. "This agreement puts Seabrook on a path to meet these environmental obligations.”

Since EPA announced its complaint against the town in March of this year, the town hired a contractor to make necessary improvements at the wastewater plant so the town could comply with its discharge permit.

EPA’s order required the town to develop and implement a comprehensive, long-term preventative maintenance program for its wastewater treatment plant and wastewater collection system and to complete a full evaluation of the disinfection system at its wastewater treatment plant and implement recommended projects to come into compliance with the Clean Water Act.

Related Information:
Water Enforcement
Clean Water Act
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