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EPA Takes Enforcement Action Against Middlesex County for Clean Water Act Violations at Billerica Wastewater Treatment Plant

Release Date: 10/07/04
Contact Information:

For Immediate Release: October 7, 2004

Contact: David Deegan, 617-918-1017; Release # 04-10-06

BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is filing an administrative complaint and issuing a compliance order against Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for alleged Clean Water Act violations at their wastewater treatment plant.

The Middlesex Sheriff’s Office is a public body that operates the Billerica Jail and House of Correction in Billerica, MA. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is the owner of the facility. The plant treats domestic wastewater which discharges into the Concord River. The complaint includes a proposed penalty of up to $157,500.

"Clean water is vital for all of our waterways, including rivers," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator for EPA's New England Office. “Wastewater treatment plants need to meet their responsibilities for clean water so that we can all enjoy a healthier environment. This action will put Middlesex County on the path to meeting state and federal standards."

EPA's administrative order requires the owner and operator to develop and submit, by Nov. 1, a plan and schedule to come into compliance with the Clean Water Act. The facility will be directed to stop releasing pollutants to the Concord River by establishing a connection with a local publicly-owned treatment facility. The plan developed by the facility will also be required to address infiltration and inflow to the collection system. Finally, EPA is requiring the collection of weekly 24 hour composite samples to monitor the nature of discharges.

The complaint stems from violations of the facility's water discharge permit on periodic occasions from September 1999 through August 2004. The violations include exceeding limits for total residual chlorine, fecal coliform bacteria, biochemical oxygen demand and total suspended solids.

Related Information:
Clean Water Act
Water Topics