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EPA Takes Enforcement Action Against Seabrook, NH for Clean Water Act Violations

Release Date: 03/26/04
Contact Information: Contact: Andrew Spejewski, EPA Press Office, (617) 918-1014

For Immediate Release: March 26, 2004; Release # 04-03-07

BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it has issued a compliance order and filed an administrative complaint against the town of Seabrook, NH for alleged Clean Water Act violations at its wastewater treatment plant which discharges into the Atlantic Ocean. The complaint includes a proposed penalty of $50,000. 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 complaint stems from violations of the facility's water discharge permit. The violations include exceeding limits for total residual chlorine, fecal coliform bacteria, effluent toxicity, biochemical oxygen demand and total suspended solids. Additionally, the town failed to properly operate and maintain the facility. Finally, an improperly maintained pumping station failed on August 24, 2003, 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 our water resources are protected," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator for EPA's New England Office. "This action will put Seabrook on the path to meeting state and federal standards."

Under EPA's order, the town must develop and implement a comprehensive, long-term preventative maintenance program for its wastewater treatment plant and wastewater collection system. The town must also 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. Failure to comply with the order exposes the town to the possibility of further enforcement actions.

Related Information:
Clean Water Act
Water Enforcement