Reports from a metal galvanizing plant to the State of Connecticut revealed it was discharging stormwater with excessively high concentrations of heavy metals into two local streams, and that its stormwater runoff, loaded with zinc, lead, and copper, was highly toxic to aquatic life. After a wastewater engineering expert retained by NELC concluded that Connecticut Galvanizing’s violations were caused by a lack of rudimentary pollution prevention measures, NELC sued the company in 2016 on behalf of Environment Connecticut and Toxics Action Center in. Our lawsuit alleged that the galvanizing facility had committed over 2,000 violations of the Clean Water Act, and that its discharge posed a severe threat to local wildlife.
Settlement negotiations eventually resulted in an agreement to install a new stormwater collection and treatment system, the completion of which ended all direct discharges to local streams. Defendants also paid a $188,000 penalty, most of which was directed to a local watershed protection group to fund additional stormwater pollution mitigation projects in the area.