Storm water monitoring by the property owner of Grimmel’s Portsmouth, N.H., facility (Pease Development Authority) confirms storm water discharges from Grimmel’s metal scrapyard operations contain metals, suspended solids and chemical oxygen demand that exceed permit benchmarks.
Further, the storm water discharges contain mercury and PCBs that cause or contribute to an exceedance of water quality standards.
Grimmel had several violations of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) “Multi-Sector General Permit for Storm Water Discharges Associated With Industrial Activity,” including failing to perform required inspections or sampling and not taking corrective actions or required reviews of its storm water pollution prevention plan to address the exceedances of benchmarks and water quality standards.
Grimmel also has discharged storm water and dust suppressant wastewater to the Piscataqua River, which is not allowed by the permit.
Following an EPA order in April 2011, Grimmel has terminated its unpermitted process water discharge and has taken measures to minimize pollutants in its storm water.
Rainwater running off industrial sites such as metal scrapyards can carry sediments, oil and other pollutants, which contaminate nearby streams, ponds and rivers. Sediments and chemicals can also contribute to fish die-offs, toxic algae blooms, contaminated shellfish beds and closed swimming beaches.
EPA inspected Grimmel Industries after receiving correspondence and relevant data from the New Hampshire office of the Conservation Law Foundation.