Massachusetts Municipal Lighting Plant Settles Clean Water Violations

The Taunton Municipal Lighting Plant (TMLP) will pay a $15,000 fine and undertake an extensive Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) to settle Clean Water Act (CWA) violations.

An EPA inspection of the facility in March 2006 found that the Taunton Municipal Lighting Plant (TMLP) violated several provisions of its permits under the CWA (known as a “National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System” (NPDES) permit).

EPA’s complaint alleges that TMLP failed to properly conduct monthly monitoring between June 2004 and February 2006 for oil and grease and failed to operate and maintain adequate laboratory controls and appropriate quality assurance procedures as required by its permit. The individual NPDES permit violations related to oil and grease monitoring and inadequate laboratory practices are significant because failure to follow approved monitoring procedures calls into question the accuracy of pollution monitoring results.

TMLP also failed to maintain the pH in wastewater discharges to the Taunton River within acceptable limits. The pH of water is a scientific measurement that describes how acidic or alkaline (basic) the water is. The pH violations are significant because discharges with a low pH can cause harm to the habitat on the banks of water bodies.

Finally, EPA’s inspection revealed violations of TMLP’s stormwater permit. In addition to having an individual NPDES permit, TMLP is required to obtain coverage under EPA’s general stormwater permit known as the Multi-Sector General Permit for Industrial Activities (MSGP). TMLP failed to conduct quarterly monitoring for Total Recoverable Iron in violation of the MSGP. The MSGP violations are significant because the federal stormwater program is important to ensuring that stormwater runoff does not contribute to the impairment of water quality.

The SEP TMLP will perform involves providing $50,000 to the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth to create and implement portions of a Lake Management Plan for Lake Sabbatia, located in Taunton, Mass.  Lake Sabbatia is the largest and most used lake in the city of Taunton.  The Lake is located within the boundary of a state designated Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC).  ACEC’s are places in Massachusetts that receive special recognition because of the quality, uniqueness, and significance of their natural and cultural resources.

A principle goal of the SEP will be to support the restoration of the water quality of the Lake Sabbatia system so that the full system meets its designated water quality standards and once met that the water quality will remain at its designated levels. The Lake Management Plan will include an inventory of natural resources; an inventory of structures on the Lake including dams, docks, and boat ramps; an evaluation of the impacts of existing structures and management practices on Lake resources; studies and assessments related to water quality; and recommendations for protecting the Lake’s natural resources.  

Download Center

  • Your Guide to Environmental Metrics that Drive Performance

    Translating sustainability into action starts with implementing the right metrics to assess your environmental risk and performance. Learn how to design metrics that improve your decision-making process and drive enterprise performance.

  • Unpacking ESG: 6 Questions You Were Too Afraid to Ask

    Environmental and Sustainability experts from Arcadis and Cority answer 6 of the most pressing questions EHS professionals have about getting started with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting.

  • 5 Keys to Best-in-Class Chemical Management

    Running a safe chemical program is challenging and complex: from knowing what's on-site to proper handling and disposal - all while navigating regulatory changes. Learn the best ways to mitigate chemical risk, get the most value out of your data, and gain buy-in for a chemical management solution.

  • Streamline Your Air Emissions Management

    See how consolidating all your emissions management functions into one centralized system can help you streamline your operations, more easily maintain compliance, and achieve greater time and cost savings.

  • A Crash Course in Creating the Right Environmental Scoring System

    Learn how to develop the right environmental scoring system so you can easily benchmark performance across all your facilities and gain a holistic view of your environmental programs.

  • Industry Safe