Waters Technologies Corp., a unit of Waters Corp., has agreed to pay $6.5 million to settle allegations it polluted the air and water at a plant in Massachusetts, the state's attorney general said on Thursday.
The penalty is the largest ever paid for an environmental violation in Massachusetts, Attorney General Tom Reilly said in a statement. The settlement represents about one-fifth of the parent company's first-quarter net income.
Since the discovery of the alleged violations, the company has cooperated with state officials to correct the plant's problems, state officials said. The plant makes electronic instruments that analyze liquids and gases.
Waters Technologies, based in Milford, Massachusetts, will pay a $5.9 million civil penalty and $600,000 to fund a pilot study on air pollution, Reilly said. Another $400,000 will be paid to settle the remaining environmental violations alleged in the complaint.
"The settlement resolves allegations that the company made hundreds of unauthorized changes to its plant and operations that resulted in increased air emissions," Reilly said.
The complaint alleges the unauthorized changes allowed Waters Technologies' plant in Taunton, Massachusetts, to increase the discharge of air pollutants that caused smog and contaminated wastewater without valid permits.