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Earthrise Reaches Settlement to Protect the Connecticut River

May 06, 2016

What do the Connecticut River (in Massachusetts), the Buffalo River (in Arkansas), the Santa Clara River (in California), and the Green River (in Illinois) all have in common?

Answer: Earthrise is fighting to protect and preserve all of them from polluters!

After victories for the Buffalo River in 2014 and the Santa Clara River in 2015, Earthrise’s most recent win for America’s rivers comes on the Connecticut River in western Massachusetts. On behalf of the Connecticut River Watershed Council, Earthrise filed a Clean Water Act enforcement suit to stop years of pollution from Chang Farms, an industrial sprout farm in Whately, MA. Yesterday, a federal court in the District of Massachusetts approved a settlement that will require Chang Farms to come into compliance with its Clean Water Act permit and cease its illegal discharges.

The settlement also provides $36,000 for environmental projects designed to provide environmental benefits to the Connecticut River in close proximity to the facility. $18,000 will go to the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission to fund a water quality sampling program, and $18,000 will go to the Town of Sunderland, MA, to acquire conservation property and restore a degraded boat ramp that has been a source of sediment run-off into the river.

“This is an important settlement because many of the pollutants the facility was illegally discharging, like Total Nitrogen and suspended solids, were adding to non-point source pollution in the river and adversely affecting conditions for aquatic wildlife,” said Earthrise Senior Attorney Kevin Cassidy. “And being able to provide funds for local projects will help ensure the Connecticut River is healthier going forward.”

Several Earthrise students worked on this case, helping bring it to a successful conclusion. Thanks to Kat McIntosh, Rachel Morris and Brandon Cobb!

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