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Milwaukee casting foundry sentenced for violating Clean Water Act

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//November 29, 2023//

Milwaukee Precision Casting Inc. has been ordered to pay a $100,000 fine for discharging pollutants into the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District. (Photo from Milwaukee Precision Casting's Facebook page)

Milwaukee casting foundry sentenced for violating Clean Water Act

By: WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL STAFF//November 29, 2023//

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Milwaukee Precision Casting Inc. (MPC) has been ordered to pay a $100,000 criminal fine for allegedly negligently discharging pollutants into the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District.

Gregory Haanstad, United States attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced on Monday that United States District Court Judge Brett Ludwig ordered the fine.

On July 14, 2023, MPC was charged with violating the Clean Water Act. According to court documents, the company negligently discharge pollutants with a pH lower than 5 to a publicly owned treatment facilty. MPC pleaded guilty; in its guilty plea, MPC acknowledged that it has operated a casting foundry in the city of Milwaukee since 1990.

MPC also acknowledged that it operated without the necessary industrial pretreatment permits from the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District (MMSD) and that its employees had discharged untreated wastewater into a sewage system operated by the MMSD. In some cases, that discharge included wastewater that had a pH below 5, in violation of requirements promulgated by MMSD and the Environmental Protection Agency.

According to information presented in court, the evidence collected by the Environmental Protection Agency during the investigation of the case demonstrated that MPC’s discharge included wastewater with a pH lower than 5 on 17 days.

As part of its guilty plea, MPC agreed to pay $50,000 at the time of sentencing and to spend $50,000 on environmental compliance efforts above what is legally required over the next five years.

In announcing his sentence, Judge Ludwig noted the importance of corporate compliance with environmental regulations and concluded that the $100,000 penalty was necessary to ensure future compliance and to send a message to other potential polluters that violations of environmental regulations carry significant penalties for corporate entities.

The case was investigated by the Environmental Protection Agency. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Pete Smyczek and Julie Stewart.

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