RIPIRG, Toxics Action Center, and Sierra Club v. Bradford Dyeing Association, Inc.

FACT SHEET ON SETTLEMENT OF:

RIPIRG, Toxics Action Center, and Sierra Club v.

Bradford Dyeing Association, Inc.

The settlement agreement approved by the U.S. District Court includes the following provisions:

SETTLEMENT OF CLEAN WATER ACT CLAIMS

            1.  PLANT UPGRADES: 

             (a) Outside consultant will study wastewater treatment system, improve operations, retrain BDA employees, determine how to reduce copper and toxicity in wastewater, and recommend upgrades.   

            (b) Potential upgrades could include: creating a separate septic system to address fecal coliform violations; increased frequency of sludge removal from treatment ponds to remove heavy metals. 

            2.  COMPLIANCE: 

                        (a) BDA must achieve compliance with all effluent limits, and make monthly compliance reports to plaintiffs.

                        (b) BDA must pay automatic penalties of $500 for each violation of a daily pollutant discharge limit, $2,000 for each violation of a monthly average discharge limit, and $2,500 for each violation of the toxicity limit (which is measured quarterly), until 9 consecutive months of strict compliance are achieved for each water pollutant.

 

SETTLEMENT OF CLEAN AIR ACT CLAIMS

1.  PLANT UPGRADES: 

            (a)  Opacity:  BDA will re-tool boilers and retrain personnel to reduce particulates (soot) coming out of the main smokestack. 

            (b)  Opacity & Odor:  BDA will install a new pollution control device (a “smoke abater”) to reduce emissions from textile finishing processes that generate the most significant amounts of smoke and a burning odor.   

            (c)  Odor:  BDA will increase the height and exit velocity of exhaust stacks on the factory roof to improve dispersion of acetic acid and other emissions that cause distinctive chemical odors. 

            (d)  Odor:   BDA will improve management of sludge ponds to reduce raw sewage odors.

2.  COMPLIANCE: 

            (a)  Independent consultant will monitor roof stack emissions, at BDA’s expense.  Plaintiffs will receive monthly compliance reports from consultant (for roof stacks) and from BDA’s continuous opacity monitor (for the main smokestack).

            (b)  Main stack:  BDA must achieve 98.5% or greater round-the-clock compliance with opacity limit each month.  Roof stacks:  BDA must achieve 100% compliance with opacity limit during all unannounced visits by independent monitoring consultant. 

            (c)  BDA must pay automatic penalties of $500 per day for violations of the opacity limits for the main stack and for roof stacks, and $1,000 each time RI DEM finds an objectionable odor, until 9 consecutive months of compliance are achieved.

            (d)  Plaintiffs retain the right to go into court to enforce odor limitations if plant upgrades are ineffective.

PENALTY     

            BDA will pay $150,000 for its past violations, to be used as follows:

  • $75,000 to establish a Bradford Area Environmental Fund, for environmental projects to benefit air quality and/or the Pawcatuck River watershed in the Bradford area.  Any automatic penalties BDA pays for violations of the consent decree (see above) would be added to this fund.
  • $75,000 towards installation of new equipment on one of BDA’s main boilers in order to reduce nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, and carbon dioxide emissions below levels required by law.

 

OTHER ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE SETTLEMENT:

  • Strictest-in-the-state monitoring and enforcement of smokestack emissions.
  • Immediate performance of copper and toxicity reduction studies, after 15 years of delay.
  • Believed to be first Rhode Island citizen suit to enforce both the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act.

 

Status: 
Resolved
Resolution Date: 
2006
Action Taken: 

Settlement: $75,000 penalty (to the Bradford Area Environmental Fund)

Defendant: 

Bradford Dyeing Association, Inc.

 

Location: 
Rhode Island