CARTHAGE Acting on a consent order from the state Department of Environmental Conservation, the Carthage/West Carthage Water Pollution Control Facilities Management Board issued its own consent order against Climax Manufacturing, West Carthage.
According to DEC, Climax violated a terms of a State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit when wastewater from the paper manufacturer had higher pH or acidity levels than acceptable.
The municipal board could have taken one of three steps, according to Chairman Michael F. Astafan: sue Climax for a $16,000 fine or more; seek criminal action through state Supreme Court, which could have closed the plant, or taken an administrative route, working with the company to fix the problem and develop a plan of action so the infraction does not occur again.
The board, made up of members of the Carthage and West Carthage village boards of trustees, decided to handle the situation through administrative action. It has sanctioned the plant the $10,000 imposed by DEC plus administrative costs. The $6,000 portion of the DEC fine was forgiven because of the municipal boards acting promptly on its consent order, Mr. Astafan said.
We wanted to minimize the financial burden, he said. He added that negotiations, which are continuing, have been very upbeat and the manufacturer and the villages worked well together as a team.
Mr. Astafan said the increased pH levels throw off the water treatment facility, which costs money to correct.