Company to Pay $1.6 Million Fine for Plymouth Harbor Sewage Spill

Water Street in Plymouth

PLYMOUTH – The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office has struck a deal with a company they allege was responsible for a major sewage spill in Plymouth Harbor.

Veolia has agreed to pay a $1.6 million fine for their failure to properly maintain and operate the Plymouth wastewater treatment plant. Thousands of gallons of contaminated wastewater spilled into Plymouth Harbor and 10 million gallons of raw sewage discharged at other locations in town.

The spill also resulted in the temporary closure of shellfish beds in Plymouth.

“By failing to properly maintain and operate wastewater treatment facilities, companies like Veolia are not only violating the law, they are threatening public health and our invaluable coastal water resources,” said Attorney General Maura Healey. “[The] settlement brings back critical funds to the state and secures needed funding for significant improvements to Plymouth Harbor, local shellfish beds, and our coastal ecosystem.”

Veolia will pay a $1.35 million civil penalty to the state and will contribute $250,000 to a state environmental trust aimed at funding projects to maintain and improve the quality of the coastal ecosystem in and around Plymouth Harbor.

“The matter resolved today addresses a significant failure to properly operate and maintain essential infrastructure,” said Commissioner Martin Suuberg of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. “The resulting failure of the wastewater system required emergency action by the town, MassDEP and other parties to abate the spills and work toward a properly functioning system.”

The settlement is likely the largest in the history of the state’s Clean Waters Act, according to the Attorney General’s Office.

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