LEWISTON — A scrap metal company on River Road has agreed to pay a fine for violating federal environmental rules and to clean up its act.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday that three closely-related companies — Grimmel Industries Inc. in Topsham, Grimmel Industries in Lewiston and Kennebec Scrap Iron Inc in Oakland — agreed to come into compliance with the law and pay a $250,000 penalty for violations.

The three facilities — which engage in sorting, shredding, storing and transferring processed scrap metal for recycling — had “numerous violations of state industrial stormwater permit requirements and of federal oil spill prevention regulations,” regulators said.

The metal recycling facilities “did not have adequate stormwater pollution prevention plans or best management practices and failed to do proper monitoring, sampling, inspections, and training,” according to the EPA.

At the Lewiston and Topsham facilities, regulators said, “they also violated oil spill prevention planning requirements.”

Representatives reached at the company Monday declined to comment.

A news release from the EPA about the settlement said that metal scrapyards “can discharge pollutants through stormwater including suspended solids and many other pollutants which present the potential to harm human health, the environment and aquatic ecosystems.”

The EPA said that stormwater from the 3-acre Lewiston facility drains into a culvert that runs under a road and empties into Hart Brook, which flows into the Androscoggin River a mile to the south.

The Topsham facility is on the site of a 20-acre former paper mill beside the Androscoggin River, the EPA said, and stormwater from industrial activity there flows directly into the river.

Stormwater from the Oakland facility, located on 11 acres in a wooded area, “flows into two streams that are tributaries to Messalonskee Stream,” regulators said.

The proposed settlement between the companies and the EPA, subject to a 30-day public comment period, requires they comply with state and federal clean water laws and pay the fine.

“Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans are key to complying with industrial stormwater permits,” EPA New England Regional Administrator Dennis Deziel said in a prepared statement.

“These plans should describe everything a facility needs to do to comply with its permit,” he said. “This agreement ensures that the companies will stay vigilant in their compliance.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.