For Immediate Release
April 4, 2013
Evan J. Mulholland, Assistant Attorney General
Attorney General Michael A. Delaney and Commissioner Thomas S. Burack of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services ("DES") announce that the State has entered into a settlement with Torromeo Industries, Inc. ("Torromeo") relating to Torromeo's unpermitted filling of approximately 12.5 acres of wetlands and diverting over a mile of perennial streams at its gravel mine and ready-mix concrete plant in Kingston, NH. This is believed to be the largest illegal wetlands fill in the State of New Hampshire to date. The settlement has been submitted to the Rockingham County Superior Court for approval.
Under the agreement with the State, Torromeo will pay a $700,000 civil penalty, $225,000 of which will be suspended on the condition that Torromeo complete wetland restoration on the site. The State has agreed to accept 8,333 tons of stone and $175,000 in cash as payment for the non-suspended portion of the penalty. The stone is slated for use in the Suncook River and Leighton Brook stabilization project in Epsom, New Hampshire. This project will protect the Route 4 bridge and Black Hall Road from future river damage.
In addition to the payments, Torromeo is required to restore 12.5 acres of wetlands and almost 800 feet of a diverted perennial stream. Much of this restoration is already well underway. Finally, the agreement permanently protects 69 acres of wetlands and adjacent land owned by Torromeo on Bayberry Pond in Kingston.
The filling or dredging of wetlands is strictly prohibited under State law, unless an individual or company applies for and receives a permit to do so. As in this case, individuals or companies that illegally fill wetlands are required to remove the fill and restore the wetlands to the extent possible. "Restoration is an important component of resolving all violations. We cannot allow a penalty for a violation to simply be a cost of doing business," said Commissioner Burack. "I am pleased that Torromeo has cooperated with the State and has already restored almost three acres of wetlands."
In a separate federal action, United States Environmental Protection Agency has announced today that Torromeo will pay a $135,000 civil penalty, implement a $500,000 Supplemental Environmental Project, and implement a compliance program to resolve numerous violations of the Clean Water Act at its Kingston, N.H. plant. The two enforcement actions arose from a joint inspection by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and DES in 2009.
Copies of the settlement agreement between the State and Torromeo are available upon request.
New Hampshire Department of Justice | 33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301