Glass Recycler Faces Fine for Violating Clean Water Act

Strategic Materials cited for failing to obtain permit coverage at its Franklin, Mass., facility.

September 25, 2012
Recycling Today Staff
Legislation & Regulations

The glass recycling company Strategic Materials, Inc., headquartered in Houston, has been cited by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for allowing polluted storm water from its glass recycling facility in Franklin, Mass. to flow into nearby waters, a violation of the Clean Water Act. According to the EPA, the company faces a maximum penalty of up to $177,500 for the alleged violations.

According to allegations in EPA’s complaint, Strategic Materials initially failed to obtain permit coverage for its storm water discharges and failed to prepare a storm water pollution prevention plan. Once the company obtained permit coverage, it discharged storm water from the facility in violation of various terms and conditions of EPA’s “Multi-Sector General Permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Industrial Activity.”  

The company also failed to implement control measures necessary to minimize pollutant discharges from storm water and failed to conduct inspections of the facility and visual assessments of the discharge outfall, according to the EPA.

David Hudson, vice president of Strategic Materials, says that the citations were minor issues, although he says the company did find that it needed to do a better job of ensuring that the recycling facility complied with all the standards and remained in compliance.

Hudson adds that at the present time the company is in compliance with all standards.

The Clean Water Act requires industrial facilities to have controls in place to minimize pollutants from being discharged with storm water into nearby waterways. Each site must have a storm water pollution prevention plan that sets guidelines and best management practices that the company will follow to prevent runoff from being contaminated by pollutants.

Strategic Materials, established in 1896, operates more than 40 plants throughout North America. The company says it is the largest glass recycler in North America and one of the largest plastics processors in North America. On an annual basis the company processes between 2.5-3 million tons.