Developer to Pay Over $1 Million Following Claims of Damaging Protected Streams and Wetlands, Polluting River in Williamsburg
Company Must Restore Impacted Resources, Place Land into Conservation
BOSTON (STL.News)A Pennsylvania-based solar energy development company has agreed to pay a total of approximately $1.14 million to settle allegations that its violations of federal stormwater requirements damaged protected wetland resources in the town of Williamsburg and polluted the West Branch Mill River, a cold-water fishery, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.
The consent decree, filed with the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts and pending court approval, settles an April 2020 lawsuit filed by the AG’s Office alleging that Dynamic Energy Solutions, LLC (Dynamic) disregarded fundamental pollution control requirements for construction sites under federal and state law when it constructed an 18.5-acre solar array on a steep hillside above the West Branch Mill River in Williamsburg.
“Developers must abide by our important state and federal laws designed to protect precious natural resources like wetlands that prevent flooding and storm damage, and support wildlife,” AG Healey said. “This resolution requires the company to restore the resources it damaged and to fund land acquisitions that will improve the water quality of the West Branch Mill River.”
In its complaint, the AG’s Office alleges that Dynamic caused sediment-laden stormwater to flow in extreme amounts off the array site, which led to eroding the hillside, scouring out perennial and intermittent streams, uprooting trees, destroying streambeds, filling in wetlands with sediment, and causing the river to become brown, in violation of federal and state laws protecting water and wetland resources.