EPA Fine Pending; Town Failed to Monitor CSOs

The town of South Hadley, Mass. faces a proposed fine of up to $157,500 for failing to measure and record all discharges from its combined stormwater and sanitary sewer system outfalls according to its water permit. The violations occurred between January 2003 and July 2005.

EPA's New England office, based in Boston, said that the combined sewer overflow (CSO) outfalls are not prohibited, but that the town must monitor and record all discharges.

During heavy rain events, water flows in the sewer system exceed its capacity and excess flow is discharged from three CSO outfalls into tributaries of the Connecticut River.

“These Clean Water Act violations prevented the EPA and the town from knowing the quantity of pollutants being discharged into the Connecticut River and its tributaries,” noted Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office.

South Hadley has been under order from EPA since 1995 to work toward separating its sanitary sewers from its stormwater sewers and eliminating all discharges from the CSO outfalls. The town has eliminated 12 of the original 15 outfalls since that time and is on schedule to completely eliminate discharges from the three remaining CSO outfalls by the end of 2007.

EPA’s complaint also alleged that the town failed to fully comply with conditions related to the control of stormwater discharges from the wastewater treatment plant facility.

For more information, contact EPA's Clean Water Enforcement in New England (epa.gov/region1/enforcement/water) and Storm water issues in New England (epa.gov/region1/topics/water/stormwater.html).

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