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N.H. Lobster Co. May Pay Up to $255,000 for Violating Environmental Laws

Release Date: 01/04/2006
Contact Information: David Deegan, 617-918-1017

(Boston) - EPA has proposed a fine of up to $255,000 against a Newington, N.H. lobster company for violations of the federal Clean Water Act and community right-to-know laws at the company's Piscataqua River facility.

According to EPA’s New England office, over the last five years the Little Bay Lobster Co. violated the terms of its permits to discharge wastewater and stormwater under the Clean Water Act, and also failed to file chemical inventory reports required under the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act.

The Little Bay Lobster Co. operates a lobster pound, a bait fish operation and maintains a fleet of fishing boats in Newington.

EPA charged that the company:

    - failed to monitor one of its active outfall discharges for flow, solids, dissolved oxygen, oil and grease, and pH as required by its National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit during 11 quarterly monitoring periods;
    - failed to take samples using EPA-approved methods in the instances it did monitor discharges from its outfalls;
    - discharged pollutants such as ammonia and tributyltin without any permit authorization;
    - failed to use best management practices as required by its Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan in violation of its stormwater permit,
    - and failed to do routine inspections of the facility as required by its stormwater permit
“These Clean Water Act violations prevented both regulators and the company from knowing the quantity of pollutants being discharged into the Piscataqua River,” noted Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “Furthermore, the unauthorized discharges of ammonia and tributyltin may well have harmed the river’s ecosystem.”

In addition to the Clean Water violations, the lobster facility, which stores over 500 lbs. of ammonia on site, violated the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA) by failing to file an emergency and hazardous chemical inventory form with the local and state emergency planning authorities.

“These right-to-know violations are significant,” Varney remarked. “Federal, state and local authorities need the information on chemical reporting forms so they can properly prepare for accidents or a chemical release, and be able to quickly take action to protect public health and the environment.”

EPA’s complaint ordered Little Bay to pay up to $157,500 for the Clean Water Act violations and up to $32,500 for each of three EPCRA violations.

More information on EPA New England enforcement of the Clean Water Act is available at: .

More information on EPA New England enforcement of the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act is available at: .

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