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Glass recycler faces fine for clean water violations

Strategic Materials, Inc. of Houston, Texas faces a fine for allowing polluted stormwater from its glass recycling facility in Franklin, Massachusetts to flow into nearby waters, in violation of the Clean Water Act. The company faces a maximum penalty of up to $177,500 for the alleged violations.

According to allegations in the complaint, Strategic Materials initially failed to obtain permit coverage for its stormwater discharges and failed to prepare a storm water pollution prevention plan. Once Strategic Materials obtained permit coverage, it discharged stormwater from the facility in violation of various terms and conditions of EPA’s “Multi-Sector General Permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Industrial Activity.” The company failed to implement control measures necessary to minimize pollutant discharges from stormwater and failed to conduct inspections of the facility and visual assessments of the discharge outfall.

The Clean Water Act requires industrial facilities, such as recycling facilities, to have controls in place to minimize pollutants from being discharged with stormwater into nearby waterways. Each site must have a stormwater pollution prevention plan that sets guidelines and best management practices that the company will follow to prevent runoff from being contaminated by pollutants.

Without on-site controls, runoff from recycling facilities can flow directly to the nearest waterway and can cause water quality impairments. As stormwater flows over these sites, it can pick up pollutants, including sediment and other debris which can inhibit the receiving streams use.