Concrete Plant Contains Discharges after Inspection

A concrete plant in East Providence, R.I., will pay a fine of $55,000 and spend an estimated $178,000 to complete three supplemental environmental projects to resolve violations of the Clean Water Act, according to a March 3 press release from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

An EPA inspection in July 2007 found that the Consolidated Concrete Corporation violated the Clean Water Act (CWA) by discharging wastewater from its concrete manufacturing facility without authorization and by discharging stormwater associated with industrial activity, without having applied for a Rhode Island stormwater permit.

As a result of Consolidated Concrete’s violations, wastewater and stormwater containing pollutants from the facility were discharged into a nearby stream, particularly during wet-weather events. The company also failed to prepare and implement a Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) plan as required by the Oil Pollution Prevention regulations under the CWA.

After the EPA inspection, the company quickly brought its facility into compliance, containing its wastewater discharges on site, filing for permit coverage, and implementing a Professional-Engineer-certified SPCC plan.

The first two supplemental projects involve construction and implementation of a closed-loop recycling system so that captured wastewaters can be re-used in its concrete manufacturing operations. In addition to saving water, the company will periodically empty out the solids from the containment basins and re-use them in its manufacturing process, greatly reducing the amount of cement dust or sediment exposed to the environment. The third project involves the installation of two stormwater quality control units to improve the quality of stormwater runoff from the facility.