Law Street Media

Explosives Plant Settles Clean Water Act Allegations with Feds, to pay $2.3M

Scientist sampling creek's polluted water

According to a Department of Justice press release issued Wednesday, Austin Powder Company has agreed to resolve Clean Water Act allegations raised in a complaint filed the same day in the Southern District of Ohio.

Per the documents, Austin Powder owns the Red Diamond explosives factory. As a part of its production, the plant uses explosive materials such as TNT and PETN, and operates five on-site water treatment plants for decontamination. The wasterwater, the complaint alleges, contains pollutants in amounts in excess of the company’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.

Under the settlement, Austin Power is set to make “significant” improvements to the wastewater treatment operations at the factory, in addition to a fine of $2.3 million.

“This settlement will prevent tens of thousands of pounds of pollutants from entering Ohio streams and rivers each year,” said Acting Assistant Administrator Larry Starfield for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance in the press release. “Ohio communities will benefit from cleaner water and a healthier environment.”

The specified improvements, including millions invest investments in wastewater treatment, will be completed by the end of the year, according to the press release.

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