“CONCORD – The Pease Development Authority and the Conservation Law Foundation are asking for mediation to resolve a lawsuit that seeks to make the PDA pay more than $100 million in penalties.
The CLF sued the authority and several authority officials in 2016, alleging they failed to get a state storm sewer system permit to discharge pollutants into various waterways making up the Great Bay estuary, according to court papers filed in U.S. District Court.
‘While the parties believe they have come to agreement on how to resolve some of their disputes, certain issues remain unresolved,’ CLF attorney Matt Wisnieff wrote in a ‘joint status report.’
The three-page filing said the two sides ‘may be able to resolve their remaining disputes’ through a court-sponsored alternative dispute resolution program.
They asked that their dispute be referred for mediation lasting a full day before Oct. 1.
The CLF in November 2016 filed the suit alleging eight violations of the Clean Water Act by the PDA, including failing to obtain a small municipal separate storm sewer system permit, known as a MS4 permit.
The foundation sought fines for alleged violations dating back to early 2009.
The PDA argued that as a state agency it was immune from the suit. The PDA also said it was prohibited from applying for a MS4 permit because it already had a stormwater permit under the Clean Water Act, according to court papers.
Last September, Federal District Court Judge Steven McAuliffe allowed part of the lawsuit to proceed.
The Conservation Law Foundation said the storm runoff contains pollutants from streets, roofs, municipal buildings, parking lots and municipal infrastructure. The runoff includes heavy metals as well as perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA), according to the CLF suit.”
Read the full article by Michael Cousineau