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For Violating Clean Water Act, Glastonbury Company Forced to Pay Thousands

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Both Salmon and Hubbard Brook feed into the Connecticut River, pictured above. In a settlement, Glastonbury-based Connecticut Galvanizing agreed to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and legal fees as restitution for polluting the waterway.

A settlement has been reached in a complaint filed against a Glastonbury, Connecticut metals-treatment company. The lawsuit, which was filed under the Clean Water Act, means Connecticut Galvanizing will have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and penalties.

The complaint was filed in January by Environment Connecticut and Toxics Action Center. It alleged Connecticut Galvanizing and two associated companies let untreated storm water -- contaminated with zinc, copper, and lead -- run off into Salmon and Hubbard Brook.

Both streams run through Glastonbury and into the Connecticut River.

"This has been an ongoing problem that the company could have and should have fixed a long time ago," said Kevin Budris, a lawyer for Toxics Action Center and Environment Connecticut. 

As a result of the settlement, Connecticut Galvanizing, which treats metal to prevent rust, will make a number of onsite changes to reduce the mixing of pollutants and storm water. It will also have to stop discharging heavily polluted storm water into streams.

"I think that we all came to a good solution that we all believe is going to fix this problem, is going to protect these streams, and is an example of how storm water pollution problems can be addressed and fixed," said Budris.

The settlement also means Connecticut Galvanizing will pay a $40,000 penalty to the federal government. And they'll pay nearly $150,000 to the Farmington River Watershed Association, money to be used solely for reducing future polluted storm water run off in the Connecticut River watershed.

A lawyer for Connecticut Galvanizing, and a company representative, did not respond to requests for comment.

Patrick Skahill is a reporter and digital editor at Connecticut Public. Prior to becoming a reporter, he was the founding producer of Connecticut Public Radio's The Colin McEnroe Show, which began in 2009. Patrick's reporting has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. He has also reported for the Marketplace Morning Report. He can be reached at pskahill@ctpublic.org.

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