The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement, of a Clean Water Act case against a battery manufacturer in Hanover Township, Luzerne County.
The settlement, announced Nov. 22, requires Koehler-Bright Star Inc. (KBS) to pay a civil penalty of $60,000, with $30,000 going to the U.S. and $30,000 going to Wyoming Valley Sanitary Sewer Authority (WVSSA).
The EPA alleged that the company exceeded pollution limits the facility is allowed to discharge. According to EPA, KBS violated Clean Water Act requirements on the pretreatment of wastewater sent to WVSSA.
The complaint alleged that from 2005 through 2010, KBS exceeded its pretreatment permit discharge limits for lead and copper for at least 52 months, including 84 monthly average violations and six violations of daily maximum limits.
The company took a series of steps to mitigate the effluent limit violations, as they occurred, but was unable to achieve compliance, according to the EPA.
Due to a process change, separate from this action, the facility no longer discharges an industrial wastestream to WVSSA.
Under the Clean Water Act companies discharging certain types of pollutants to publicly owned wastewater treatment plants (POTWs) maybe required to obtain a pretreatment permit from the POTW limiting the amount of pollution that may be discharged to the plant. This often requires some type of pretreatment by the discharging facility before the waste stream is released to the POTW.
Pretreatment permit limits for pollutants are established in order to prevent impairment of waterways.