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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that Chemical manufacturer MacDermid Inc. pleaded guilty to four felony violations of the Clean Water Act and was sentenced on Nov. 28 to pay a $2 million fine and $1 million for supplemental environmental projects.
Located in Waterbury, Conn., MacDermid manufactures over 1,000 chemicals used for metal treating, plating and other purposes. The plant wastewater is required to be pre-treated before being released into the Waterbury city sewer system, and the company is required to submit to the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection discharge monitoring reports (DMRs) concerning the level of chemicals contained in the treated wastewater it releases.
For at least eight years, MacDermid engaged in unlawful practices, such as discarding wastewater samples with high levels of pollutants and failing to report analyses of such samples, which led to the falsification of its DMRs. As a result, wastewater with unacceptably high levels of copper and zinc was released into the Waterbury sewers. The release of wastewater with high levels of copper and zinc into sewer systems can cause damage to sewage treatment plant equipment and also kill bacteria needed to digest and properly treat sewage at sewage treatment plants.
The case was investigated by EPA's Criminal Investigation Division with the assistance of EPA's National Enforcement Investigations Center and was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Bridgeport.