Massachusetts Sues Scrap Processor for Water Pollution Violations

Earlier this week, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts filed a suit against the defendant Joseph Freedman Co., Inc. in the District of Massachusetts. The plaintiff is claiming that the defendant polluted public water through discharging industrial stormwater.

The defendant is “the oldest and largest privately owned scrap metal processor in New England and operates across two facilities on over twenty acres in Springfield.”

The complaint states that the defendant “discharges polluted industrial stormwater from the facility through the City of Springfield’s municipal separate storm sewer system into Poor Brook, a tributary of the Chicopee River.

The state is claiming that the discharged stormwater contains “excessive amounts of lead, zinc, aluminum, iron, copper, chemical oxygen demand, and total suspended solids.

These allegations are concerning for the plaintiff because “excessive heavy metals in runoff pose a long-term threat to the aquatic ecosystem.”

According to the plaintiff, the defendants’ own sampling showed “that for many years it has been discharging stormwater with levels of pollutants, including heavy metals, many times higher than benchmarks standards established by EPA.”

Under federal regulation of the Clean Water Act, the defendant is required through a stormwater permit to “select, design, install, and implement pollutant control measures that minimize pollutants in stormwater discharges.”

The defendant is facing a sole count of noncompliance with the stormwater permit.