Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Compliance and Enforcement News Release (Region 1): Industrial Laundry in Lebanon, N.H. Faces Fine for Clean Water Violations

News Release
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
New England Regional Office
August 28, 2012

Contact: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

Industrial Laundry in Lebanon, N.H. Faces Fine for Clean Water Violations

(Boston, Mass. – Aug. 28, 2012) – An industrial laundry facility in Lebanon, N.H. faces a penalty of $64,000 from the US Environmental Protection Agency for several violations of federal water laws, including discharging water containing detergent to the city’s public wastewater system which caused excessive foaming in the Connecticut River.

According to a complaint filed recently by EPA’s New England office, UniFirst Corp. discharged wastewater containing industrial grade detergent into the public wastewater system in Nov. 2010 and failed to immediately notify the city of the discharge.  Both actions violated the Clean Water Act. The complaint also details that in 2011 UniFirst discharged wastewater with a high acidity, also in violation of the federal Clean Water Act.

UniFirst operates an on-site wastewater treatment system that introduces process wastewater into the City of Lebanon’s system, which in turn discharges treated wastewaters into the Connecticut River.  The detergent violations caused the city to be out of compliance with its own National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit regulating its wastewater system.

Discharges of ­­prohibited effluents from industrial users can present a risk to nearby waters and aquatic life. An industrial user’s failure to immediately notify the local wastewater treatment system and any other applicable state or federal emergency responders undermines their ability to promptly respond to a potential threat.

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