Ardagh settles with EPA to protect wetlands

Glassmaker Ardagh has agreed to pay a $103,440 fine and fund another $121,700 in projects after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency alleged it was discharging wastewater in violation of its permits.

In the settlement with EPA’s New England office, Ardagh agreed to install equipment that will enhance the treatment of stormwater before it is discharged. In addition, the company will buy firefighting equipment and materials for the Town of Milford Fire Department.

EPA alleged that Ardagh, which makes glass bottles, jars, and other containers, was in violation of its permits issued under the Clean Water Act to discharge stormwater and cooling water, which both flow into wetlands adjacent to the Charles River.

“We are glad that action has been taken to make sure wastewater and stormwater discharged by the company complies with federal permits and standards designed to protect our environment,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “This action will ensure that the Charles River is protected.”

During a Sept. 2013 inspection of the facility, EPA inspectors found that the company was not consistently in compliance with permit effluent limitations for maximum daily flow, acidity, temperature and residual chlorine concentrations in cooling water it discharged between 2010 and 2014.

EPA also alleged that the company did not comply with the conditions in its stormwater discharge permit. While Ardagh maintained a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan, it was not fully implementing certain terms and conditions required by the permit and in the plan, including: conducting and documenting all the required routine facility site inspections, quarterly visual assessments for discharges to the wetlands, and annual comprehensive site inspections; illustrating required information in a facility site diagram; installing adequate control measures to minimize the exposure of industrial materials stored outside from coming into contact with stormwater; and managing stormwater runoff to minimize soil erosion and reduce pollutants in discharges to the wetlands and ultimately the Charles River.

Finally EPA alleged that the company discharged untreated process wastewater into adjacent wetlands without a permit.