PITTSBURGH A Connecticut scrap metals recycler is being sued by environmental groups for alleged violations of the federal Clean Water Act.
Norwich, Conn.-based Shetucket Iron & Metal Co. Inc. is being sued in U.S. District Court in Connecticut by Soundkeeper Inc., Connecticut Fund for the Environment Inc. and Conservation Law Foundation Inc.
The environmental groups contend that stormwater runoff from 20-foot high piles of scrap at Shetuckets facility is contaminating local waterways, and that contaminants carried on the tires of trucks exiting the scrapyard are being spread to neighboring areas.
Metals processing activities, including shearing, crushing, and compacting, are also releasing contaminants, according to the lawsuit.
Shetucket constructed a rock berm along the waters edge nearly 10 years ago to satisfy runoff concerns, but the environmentalists dont believe this is enough to guarantee that runoff wont escape.
The groups are asking the court to force Shetucket to obtain federal discharge permits and pay fines of $32,500 per day per violation between March 15, 2004, and Jan. 12, 2009, and $37,500 per day for each subsequent violation.
The owner of Shetucket declined to comment on the matter.
This is the fifth lawsuit filed by the Conservation Law Foundation in Connecticut this year. The group settled another Clean Water Act lawsuit in August with Waterbury, Conn.-based Waterbury Auto Salvage (amm.com, June 12, 2012). Waterbury signed a consent order agreeing to gain compliance, allow itself to be monitored, pay $15,000 to cover the costs the environmentalists incurred in the lawsuit and pay $7,500 to the Naugatuck River Revival Group remediation project.