EPA, Suffolk Downs Settle Clean Water Case

Massachusetts will pay $1.25 million civil penalty, make improvements.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice announced Aug. 22 that Sterling Suffolk Racecourse LLC will pay a civil penalty of $1.25 million to resolve violations of the Clean Water Act.

The terms of the settlement, which includes other actions that will be taken at the facility in Revere and East Boston, Mass., was contained in consent decree lodged in federal court in Boston Aug. 22.

In a statement, Suffolk Downs said it has been working with the federal government since the problems were brought to its attention five years ago and had taken steps that include construction of a new drainage system in the barn area.

"Suffolk Downs has worked cooperatively with federal and state environmental agencies since this issue first surfaced five years ago and we have already taken substantial measures, including construction of a new $3.5 million drainage system in our barn area, to address the conditions and bring us into compliance," the statement said.

"We are confident that, in addition to our on-site improvements, our new walkway project in Belle Isle Marsh and our water testing in the Mystic and Saugus Rivers will contribute to a better environment in our area for the future."

The EPA statement said the company will also conduct three environmental projects worth approximately $742,000 that will provide water quality monitoring and protection efforts for more than 123 square miles of watershed.